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Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, New York 
Thannhauser Collection 



From van Gogh 
to Picasso 



From Kandinsky 
to Pollock 



Masterpieces 
of Modern Art 



Bompiani 







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This exhibition has been 
organized by 

the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, New York 



Johnson & Higgins, New York City 
and The Chubb Group of Insurance 
Companies, Warren, New Jersey 
provided additional financial support 
for the exhibition. 

Lufthansa German Airlines 

is the official carrier 

for the exhibition in Italy. 






D 1990 The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
ulation. New York 

uppo Editoriale Fabbri, 

ozogno, Etas, S.p.A. 

'lano 






Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 
Thannhauser Collection 



From van Gogh From Kandinsky Masterpieces 

to Picasso to Pollock of Modern Art 



Edited by 
Thomas Krens 
with 

Germano Celant 
Lisa Dennison 



Bomp 



lani 



PAIAMO;BASSI 



Comitato Amici 
di Palazzo Grassi 



President 
Feliciano Benvenuti 

General Manager 
Fmilio Melli 

Director of 
Cultural Programmes 
Paolo Viti 



President 
Susanna Agnelli 

Committee 

Marella Agnelli 

Umberto Agnelli 

Mirella Barracco 

Vittore Branca 

Cristiana Brandolini D'Adda 

Francesco Cingano 

Attilio Codognato 

Giancarlo Ferro 

Gianluigi Gabetti 

Knud W. Jensen 

Michel Laclotte 

Giancarlo Ligabue 

Pietro Marzotto 

Thomas Messer 

Philippe de Montebello 

Sabatino Moscati 

Giovanni Nuvoletti Perdomini 

Richard E. Oldenburg 

Giuseppe Panza di Biumo 

Alfonso Emilio Perez Sanchez 

Claude Pompidou 

Maurice Rheims 

Cesare Romiti 

Norman Rosenthal 

Guido Rossi 

Francesco Valcanover 

Mario Valeri Manera 

Bruno Visentini 

Bruno Zevi 

Secretary 
Furio Colombo 



Palazzo Grassi S.pA. 

San Samuele 3231, Venezia 



Palazzo Grassi reopens with an outstanding exhibition that will bring masterpieces 

of the Guggenheim Collection in New York to Venice. It should be made clear 

immediately, however, that this is not just a case of temporarily transferring 

a permanent collection to a special venue. The New York museum possesses 

a great many more pieces than will be displayed here, and a careful selection 

has been made — an arduous task that is also the fruit of exacting criteria. 

In this case, Palazzo Grassi has opted to emphasize the Guggenheim's heritage 

of modem art by drawing on three different sources: the Thannhauser Collection 

(devoted mainly to works from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century), 

the Museum's primary collection and a selection of some of the most important works 

collected by Peggy Guggenheim. 

This is not, therefore, a mere transposition of an existing exhibition. Nor have 

we simply sought to make the American collection more accessible. 

Rather than offer a homage to the visitor, the selection carried out by Thomas Krens, 

Germano Celant, and Lisa Dennison for Palazzo Grassi aims to stimulate deeper 

knowledge and understanding of modern art. 

Modem art is not so easily deciphered. We are still too close in time to identify the 

fundamental lines and their main works, despite the fact that, more than ever before, 

critics followed and even invented the movement or movements of this particular 

artistic expression. 

Consequently, this criticism and its outcome are put forward for the scrutiny 

of the public. 

As for the art itself, the exhibition traces its transition from synthetic vision to 

an analytical vision of the world, and illustrates the gap between the two. 

The world in which we are immersed is the world of analysis, of detail, of fragments, 

in which those who are acquainted with "all the rest" will surely find "all the rest. " 

The exhibition is therefore not a mere casual representation of trends or single artists. 

It is a coherent, consistent chapter. It is also necessarily an exhibition composed 

of allusions. 

But life, like history, is always a series of allusions and coordinates, linked 

by the thread of our civil commitment within civil history, and 

the kind of cultural commitment we ask of the public in the exhibition. 

Feliciano Benvenuti 



The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Foundation 



Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 



President 

Peter Lawson-Johnston 

Vice President 

The Earl Castle Stewart 

Trustees 

Elaine Dannheisser 
Michel David- Weill 
Carlo De Benedetti 
Ciianni De Michelis 
Robin Chandler Duke 
Robert M. Gardiner 
John S. Hilson 
Thomas Krens 
Arthur Levitt, Jr. 
Wendy L-J. McNeil 
Denise Saul 
William A. Schreyer 
Daniel C. Searle 
James Sherwood 
Bonnie Ward Simon 
Sevmour Slive 
Peter W. Stroh 
Stephen C. Swid 
Akira Tobishima 
Rawleigh Warner, Jr. 
Michael F. Wettach 
Donald M. Wilson 
William T. Ylvisaker 

Trustees Elect 
Mary Sharp Cronson 
Rainer Heubach 
Katharine Anne Johnson 
Edward H. Meyer 

Director Emeritus 
Thomas M. Messer 



Director 
Thomas Krens 

Deputy Director 
Diane Waldman 

Deputy Director 
Peggy Guggenheim 
Collection 
Philip Rylands 

Assistant Director 
Michael Govan 

Assistant Director 
for Administration 
and Finance 
Gail Harrity 

Chief Conservator 
and Assistant Director 
for Technical Services 
Paul Schwartzbaum 

Curator 

Twentieth-Century Art 
Carmen Gimenez 

Curator 

Contemporary Art 
Germano Celant 

Consultative Curator 
Mark Rosenthal 

Curator 

Vivian Endicott Barnett 

Associate Curator 
Lisa Dennison 



Advisory Board 

of the Solomon R. Guggenheim 

Museum 

Donald M. Feuerstein 

Robert Meltzer 

Rudolph Schulhof 

Advisory Board 

of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Claude Pompidou, President 

The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg 

James Allman 

Tiziano M. Barbieri Torriani 

Alexander Bernstein 

Mary Bloch 

Ida Borletti 

Bernardino Branca 

The Earl Castle Stewart 

Claudio Cavazza 

Enrico Chiari 

Jack Clerici 

Elizabeth T. Dingman 

Rosemary Chisholm Feick 

Filippo Festa 

Roberto Vallarino Gancia 

Danielle Gardner 

Gabriella Golinelli 

Marino Golinelli 

Paolo Gori 

Giuseppina Araldi Guinetti 

Randolph H. Guthrie 

Jacques Hachuel M. 

W. Lawrence Heisey 

Lady Hulton 

Evelyn Lambert 

Jacques Lennon 

Iris Cornelia Love 

Laurence D. Lovett 

Joan Van de Maele 



Achille Maramotti 

The Lord McAlpine 

Luigi Moscheri 

Maria Pia Quarzo Cerina 

Fanny Rattazzi 

Antonio Ratti 

Maria Luisa de Romans 

Nanette Ross 

Denise Saul 

Hannelore Schulhof 

James Sherwood 

Robert D. Stuart, Jr. 

Marion Taylor 

Roberto Tronchetti Provera 

Gianni Varasi 

Kristen Venable 

Robert Venable 

Felice Gianani 
Umberto Nordio 
Anna Scotti 
Honorary Charter Members 



Acknowledgements 



The spirit of internationalism that 
has been a guiding principle of The 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Founda- 
tion since its founding in 1937 is 
reflected in the scope of its collection 
and the breadth of its exhibition 
programming. As part of its original 
commitment to international art of 
the twentieth century, the Guggen- 
heim Museum has regularly loaned 
works from its collection to impor- 
tant exhibitions throughout the 
world and, on rare occasions, it has 
organized exhibitions drawn from its 
permanent collection to be sent 
abroad. None of these activities, 
however, has ever approached the 
scale of this presentation at Palazzo 
Grassi, which includes not only 
twentieth-century masterpieces from 
the core of the Guggenheim Founda- 
tion's original holdings, but also a 
selection of some of the finest exam- 
ples from the Justin K. Thannhauser 
Collection. These paintings and 
sculptures, which have never been 
seen outside the United States since 
their bequest to the Museum in 
1976, include works by such late 
nineteenth-century masters as van 
Gogh, Gauguin and Manet as well as 
important early works by Picasso 
and Braque. The selections from the 
Thannhauser Collection provide a 
perfect prelude to the major currents 
in twentieth-century art which are at 
the heart of the Guggenheim legacy. 
The exhibition is of particular sig- 
nificance to the Guggenheim for two 
reasons: it represents this Museum's 
most important collaboration to date 
in Italy and it signals a new and more 
ambitious cooperation with Palazzo 
Grassi that holds great potential for 
the future. Since 1976, when the 
Guggenheim Foundation assumed 
responsibility for the administration 
of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection 
in Venice, the Guggenheim has 
regarded itself as both an Italian and 
American institution. When con- 
struction of its new building in New 
York forced the temporary closing of 
the Museum, the first thought of the 
Board of Trustees was to take advan- 
tage of the opportunity to send some 
of its masterpieces to Italy. The ex- 
hibition became a reality when 
Palazzo Grassi suggested a collabora- 
tion on a survey of early twentieth- 
century art drawn solely from the 
Guggenheim Collections. Not only 
will the Guggenheim be able to sus- 



tain its > international programming 
with this exhibition, but it will be 
able to do so in a place that it has 
fondly and modestly come to regard 
as its home. 

This exhibition is especially indebt- 
ed to Mrs Hilde Thannhauser, 
widow of Justin K. Thannhauser, 
one of the chief benefactors of the 
Guggenheim Museum. Mrs Thann- 
hauser agreed to the relaxation of 
travel restrictions — solely for this 
Venice exhibition — that were 
placed on the Thannhauser works for 
their own protection at the time of 
their bequest to the Guggenheim. 
Thus the Palazzo Grassi exhibition 
of Guggenheim masterpieces is a 
unique event, one that will never 
again be repeated. 

In order to realize an exhibition of 
this magnitude, we have relied on 
many individuals in New York and 
Venice for their interest, support 
and essential cooperation. We ex- 
tend our appreciation to the staff of 
Palazzo Grassi as our collaborators 
in this endeavor. Palazzo Grassi's 
program, since its opening in 1986, 
has made an important contribution 
not only to the cultural offerings of 
Venice and Italy, but through its in- 
ternational visitorship has received 
worldwide recognition. 

Projects of this scale and quality can- 
not be produced without the support 
and contributions of corporate spon- 
sorship. We are grateful to Johnson 
& Higgins, New York City, and The 
Chubb Group of Insurance Compa- 
nies, Warren, New Jersey, for gener- 
ously providing additional financial 
support for the exhibition and to 
Lufthansa German Airlines, the offi- 
cial carrier for the exhibition in 
Italy. 

The Guggenheim staffs in New York 
and Venice have wholeheartedly 
devoted their time and energies over 
the past year and a half to bring this 
enterprise to fruition. The project 
has touched virtually every depart- 
ment in the two Museums, from 
curatorial to administrative to tech- 
nical areas. These departments were 
responsible for the preparation of 
the works for the exhibition, for or- 
ganizing the complicated logistics of 
their travel and installation and for 



the compilation of the catalogue 
manuscript. Conservation and re- 
search on the works are never end- 
ing. 

While it is almost impossible to sin- 
gle out individual contributions to 
such an all-encompassing endeavor, 
there are certain staff members who 
were most central to the project. Our 
thanks are therefore due to our tech- 
nical staff, headed by Paul Schwartz- 
baum, Chief Conservator and Assis- 
tant Director for Technical Ser- 
vices; Elizabeth Carpenter, Regis- 
trar; Scott A. Wixon, Operations 
Manager; Ani Rivera, Preparator; 
and David M. Heald, Photographer, 
as well as to their most capable and 
diligent staff members. The curatori- 
al and logistical problems posed by 
this exhibition were skillfully coordi- 
nated by Claudia Davida Defendi, 
Curatorial Assistant. The catalogue 
was brought to fruition by a dedicat- 
ed group of writers, whose names ap- 
pear throughout the catalogue; in ad- 
dition, special mention is owed to 
Nancy Spector, Assistant Curator 
for Research, and editors Carol 
Fuerstein and Diana Murphy. The 
administrative organization of the 
exhibition would not have been pos- 
sible without the aid of Gail Harrity, 
Assistant Director for Finance and 
Administration; Thomas Ramseur, 
General Counsel; Terrie Henry, De- 
velopment Consultant; Heidi Olson, 
Manager of Budget and Planning; 
and Brooke Burbank, Administra- 
tive Coordinator. In Venice, the per- 
sonal attention and commitment of 
Philip Rylands, Deputy Director; 
Claudia Rech, Development and 
Public Affairs Coordinator; Renata 
Rossani, Assistant to the Deputy 
Director; and Sharon Hecker, Ad- 
ministrative Assistant, insured the 
smooth management of this exhibi- 
tion in every phase of its planning 
and execution. 

Finally, I owe particular thanks for 
the assistance of Lisa Dennison, As- 
sociate Curator, who cared for the 
selection of works from the begin- 
ning, and Michael Govan, Assistant 
Director, for contributing to the or- 
ganization of such a large-scale 
project. Germano Celant, as curator 
and critic, provided fresh insight into 
the collection and its installation and 
has been a vital link for the Guggen- 
heim between New York and Italv. 



I express my sincere thanks to all 
those who have contributed so essen- 
tially to the realization of this impor- 
tant project. 

Thomas Krens 

Director, The Solomon 

R. Guggenheim Foundation 



Exhibition and Catalogue Committee 



Exhibition and catalogue 

curated by 

Thomas Krens 

with 

Germano Celant 

Lisa Dennison 



Project 

Gae Aulenti 

with 

Francesca Fenaroli 

Press Relations 
Lauro Bergamo 

Lighting Design 
Piero Castiglioni 

Video 

"Da van Gogh a Picasso 

Da Kandinsky a Pollock 

II percorso dell'arte moderna" 

directed by Roberto Gavioli 

and Pierluigi Redaelli 

produced by Gamma Film 



Graphic Design 

of the Catalogue 

Pierluigi Cerri 

with 

Andrea Lancellotti 

Editorial Director 
Mario Andreose 

Editor 
Carla Tanzi 
with 
Giulio Lupieri 

Production Staff 
Silvano Caldara 
Giancarlo Galimberti 



Contents 



1 Preface 

Thomas Krens 
Germano Celant 

15 The Museum and Its Vicissitudes 
Umberto Eco 

17 The Genesis of a Museum: the Guggenheim Legacy 
Thomas Krens 

32 Legacies of Enthusiasm 
Fred Licht 

42 The Course of Modern Art 
Maurizio Calvesi 

5 1 The Thannhauser Collection 
Vivian Endicott Barnett 

121 The Guggenheim Collection 

370 Artists' Biographies 

388 Guggenheim Historical Chronology 

391 Index of Artists and Works 



Thomas Krens Preface 

Germano Celant 



Notes on the growth of the collection 

As the last decade of the twentieth century begins, the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum is just over a half-century old. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 
established in 1937 to oversee the Museum in New York, has been operating the Peg- 
gy Guggenheim collection in Venice as well for the past fifteen years. In this brief 
span of time, the Guggenheim has distinguished itself as one of the most extraordi- 
nary museums of modern art in the world. Its collection includes numerous master- 
pieces from the late nineteenth century to the present — by such pre-war masters as 
Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Vasily Kandinsky, 
Paul Klee, Kazimir Malevich, Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Constantin Brancusi, 
and Alberto Giacometti; and by such post-war artists as Jackson Pollock, Jean 
Dubuffet, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Ryman, Joseph Beuys, Roy Lichtenstein, 
Mario Merz, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, and Bruce 
Nauman to name but a few of the important historical figures. The quality, depth and 
breadth of its collection would suggest that the Museum evolved as the result of a 
carefully considered and implemented plan of collection development, one that antici- 
pated the major artists and attitudes of the twentieth century with a singular pres- 
10 cience. Yet, while there is no denying the uncommon quality of the overall Guggen- 

heim collection, the manner in which the Museum evolved is remarkable for its lack 
of a coherent masterplan. It is a testimony to the felicitous nature of collecting and 
the fortuitous circumstances that brought these magnificent works of art together. 
Like other museums in the United States and Europe, the special character of the 
Guggenheim collection at the end of our century is, in fact, a function of the interests 
and aspirations of a handful of individuals whose personal collections were originally 
formed in a passionate and often idiosyncratic manner. Their common ground is that 
these private collections ultimately came under the care and administration of a public 
institution, which was itself founded on very specific and esoteric principles of early 
twentieth-century mystical abstraction of an almost romantic nature. The common 
purpose of both the private collections and the public institution is a profound com- 
mitment to the notions of history, cultural stewardship and excellence in the visual 
arts. 

The metamorphosis from private collection to public museum is an extraordinary and 
necessary transition without which art museums could not exist. Museums perform 
a vital social function by creating the conditions necessary for a direct encounter with 
the actual objects of material culture through curatorial presentation, conservation 
and preservation. Museums are important to society because of the guarantees they 
provide: they secure for current and future generations an authentic perception and 
experience of cultural history in a rapidly changing world where the sheer magnitude 
and flow of visual images threaten to overwhelm the senses; they insure the inherent 
fragility of works of art against the vicissitudes of taste and the ravages of time. Per- 
manence and excellence, therefore, are important elements of the museological dy- 
namic and are generally reflected in the professional codes of conduct and stewardship 
that guide the operation of these institutions. But at the very same time that museums 
must necessarily ground their operations in cautious historical practice, they must be 
responsive to the notions of radicality and change upon which cultural development 
is so obviously based. Works of art of "museum quality" are so chosen because of the 
uniqueness of perception that they have brought to a particular moment in time. In 
short, a delicate, dynamic balance should be maintained between the classic and the 
new. The importance of private collections as a bridge to a public trust and to the 
continued growth and evolution of museum collecting cannot, therefore, be overstat- 
ed. When a concentrated collection of works of art is initiated for reasons of personal 
interest or aesthetics on a private level, the first step is taken in a process that can ulti- 



mately result in the strengthening of the institution on a public level. The history of 
the Guggenheim Museum and the exhibition of masterpieces that this catalogue docu- 
ments offer particular and eloquent testimony to the richness of this process. 
Professor Seymour Slive, the renowned art historian and specialist of seventeenth- 
century Dutch painting, and for many years Director of the Fogg Art Museum at Har- 
vard University, has often remarked that great museum collections are built with the 
acquisition of great private collections. Implicit in this statement is the notion that 
the art museum as an institution influenced by administrative and curatorial disposi- 
tion is not generally in a position to make sweeping commitments to specific artists 
or attitudes in sufficient depth. As a museum professional, Professor Slive recognizes 
that museum directors and curators are obligated to be cautious generalists by the na- 
ture of their professional responsibility. As trustees of a public trust, they cannot 
sanction the passionate, often idiosyncratic, and occasionally irrational attachment to 
individual artists and movements that can result in original collections with great 
depth and focus. On the contrary, private collectors can acquire works of art without 
the approval of committees or boards precisely because they are not spending public 
or institutional funds. As a result, they are able to indulge in their personal visions 
or take advantage of extraordinary circumstances in which to assemble collections of 
rare quality that will be vindicated by history and, only years later be capable of enter- 
ing museum collections. The story of the Guggenheim Museum can be seen as a prime 
example of the process. It is essentially the story of six great private collections — 
those of Solomon R. Guggenheim, Justin K. Thannhauser, Karl Nierendorf, Kather- 
ine S. Dreier, Peggy Guggenheim, and most recently Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo 
— that have been joined together to become one great collection of late nineteenth- 
century and twentieth-century art with singular breadth and depth. Other than the n 
common thread of outstanding quality in the art they engage, there is little similarity 
among the development of each of the private collections that now comprise the Gug- 
genheim Museum's holdings. The history of the Guggenheim collection is also a col- 
lage of various stories that intertwine with the major events of the twentieth century 
to produce a series of distinctive and dramatic images: Solomon Guggenheim's fasci- 
nation with the German baroness Hilla Rebay von Ehrenwiesen; her obsession with 
the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner and the aesthetics of Vasily Kandinsky; the confis- 
cation of the first great Thannhauser Collection by the Nazis in Berlin and Munich; 
Peggy Guggenheim's passionate purchase of masterpieces in Paris just days before the 
arrival of the Nazi armies; her marriage to Max Ernst and her championship of 
Pollock; the Rebay-Guggenheim collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright; James John- 
son Sweeney's ongoing battle with Wright over the details of the building in New 
York; and Count Panza di Biumo's Calvinist passion for the minimal art of Ame- 
rica in the 1960s. The history of the Guggenheim is plausible only in retrospect. 
Nothing quite as outlandish could ever have been predicted or planned. Yet the 
outcome is on display here for all to see — one of the most dazzling collections 
of modern art in the world, coupled with an ongoing dedication to the under- 
standing, preservation, and display of the major course of twentieth-century cultural 
history. 

Notes on the arrangement of the exhibition 

The identity of a museum derives from the configuration of objects that comprise its 
collection. The objects in the Guggenheim Museum were gathered for the most part 
through gifts from private collections, beginning with Solomon's own. If the private 
collector tells a particular subjective history conditioned by private and personal un- 
derstanding, the museum tends toward a more scientific history, filling gaps in its col- 
lection as a whole to provide the fullest and most complete representation of the cul- 
tural epoch it attempts to document. 

The Guggenheim collection serves as a frame in which the subject of the Modern era 
emerges in all of its diversity and complexity. While the collection cannot be called 
"complete" in any scientific sense, it includes a deep and broad assembly of artifacts 
and masterpieces, from which a consistent yet exceptional thread of modern art can 
be drawn — "Masterpieces of Modern Art" — that distinctly reflects the products 
of visual, pictorial and sculptural creativity from the end of the last century to just 



after the second World War. The selection and organization of works for Palazzo 
Grassi has been structured with a philosophy of completeness that maintains at the 
same time the many and diverse subjective identities that reside within the single col- 
lection of the Guggenheim Foundation. 

The exhibition in Venice then is divided into two parts. The first consists of a selec- 
tion of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works from the Justin K. Thannhauser 
Collection, including artists Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 
Vincent van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Picasso. Impressionism introduced a new 
sense of light in painting, capturing for example the reflections of daylight in the plein 
air landscape. In Before the Mirror, 1876, Manet uses the canvas as a device like the 
mirror to play with the idea of reflection in both reality and art. The figure of the 
woman, her back turned to us, echoes the figure of the viewer in front of the canvas 
as the mirror echoes the canvas itself. Painted flatly with brushstrokes that connect 
and collapse any distance between the figure and the mirror, the entire canvas is a 
mirror of sorts that offers to the viewer's gaze not a reflection of the external world 
but a complex surface of self-reflection. Art becomes the subject of reflection. These 
artists abandon their depiction of an exteriority in part to reflect upon the art itself 
and its role in the future, the modern. 

The paintings of Cezanne, van Gogh and Gauguin — with their emphases on the tac- 
tility and flatness of the canvas and their concomitant disregard for the rules of 
Renaissance perspective in depicting nature — provided the basis for most of the in- 
novative ideas and attitudes of twentieth-century art. In van Gogh's and Cezanne's 
landscapes the viewer is struck more by the concerns of the mind and the senses than 
of merely an optical representation. Like his predecessors, Picasso makes clear in his 
12 early work, represented in the Thannhauser Collection by iconic images such as Wom- 

an Ironing, 1904, that modern painters rejected a photographic transcription of nature 
in favor of a more abstract expression of particular thoughts and feelings within the 
bounded and flat surface of a painting. The pervasive unnatural blue tonality of Picas- 
so's image suggests a climate of sadness and poverty of a certain social condition. In 
these works, interplay between vision and body, between eye and idea, becomes more 
complex and less recognizable, demanding greater participation and thought in in- 
terpretation from the viewer. Such is the beginning of the modern vision in art. 
Picasso's Woman Ironing communicates some of the anxiety of a turn-of-the-century 
culture moving toward a future of an impersonal industrialization that prefigures the 
most significant revolution in the visual arts of the century: Cubism. The second and 
larger part of the exhibition, including one hundred twenty-five paintings and sculp- 
tures, begins with some of the finest examples of this new style, invented by the 
Spanish-born Picasso and his Parisian colleague Braque. Cubism offered new possibil- 
ities for rendering three-dimensional objects on the two-dimensional picture plane; 
images are fractured into myriad small facets and are depicted as if seen from several 
viewpoints simultaneously. The Cubist composition thus poses the problem of com- 
municating not only the concreteness of space and volume, but also the abstraction 
of time. The exhibition includes seminal Cubist works executed between 1909 and 
1913, including Picasso's Accordionist and The Poet, and Braque's Piano and Mandola 
and Violin and Palette. Beside Picasso's and Braque's works are placed major examples 
by Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay and Albert Gleizes who extended the vocabulary 
of Cubism according to their individual sensibilities. 

Some of the formal devices of Cubism were also employed by the Russian-born Marc 
Chagall, who moved from St. Petersberg to Paris in 1910. Chagall, who integrated 
personal fantasy and narrative elements of Russian folk art with an advanced formal 
vocabulary indebted to the French, is represented in the Guggenheim collection and 
the present exhibition by some of the artist's most well-known works, including Paris 
Through the Window, 1913, and Green Violinist, 1923-24. 

While Cubism represented the new art in Paris, other European centers such as 
Munich boasted an equally radical but more figurative approach to painting. German 
Expressionism drew on the work of the Symbolists like van Gogh, linking often ex- 
treme emotional sentiments with images of nature characterized by potent and un- 
natural color, in sharp contrast to the Cubist's tempered almost monochromatic 
palette. Although most of the major proponents of this movement were Germans such 



as Franz Marc, the Russian-born Kandinsky made an important contribution in 
Munich with his landscapes abstracted into simplified forms and brilliant colors. In 
the exhibition, Kandinsky's Blue Mountain, 1908-09, depicting riders in a fantasy 
landscape is juxtaposed with Marc's The Unfortunate Land of Tyrol, 1913, each em- 
bodying the Expressionists' narrative and romantic description of nature. Marc's 
large Yellow Cow, 1911, floating in an intensely colored imaginary setting, typifies 
the Expressionist's emotional and symbolic mode of expression. 
Outside of Paris, the influence of Cubism spread rapidly and artists in France and 
Germany began to experiment with purely formal painterly concerns of line, color and 
form. Kandinsky himself has sometimes been credited with the first abstract painting 
in 1913. In his treatise entitled "On the Spiritual in Art," Kandinsky related abstract 
painting to music and to human "inner necessity" rather than the external world. His 
ideas, exemplified in major canvases like Painting with White Border, 1913, which 
represents abstracted impressions and visions of a visit to Moscow, became somewhat 
of a credo for Hilla Rebay and a guiding light for the Guggenheim collection. Decid- 
edly more abstract and with essential reference to a symbolism of forms is Several Cir- 
cles, 1926, in which the circle represents the totality of the universe as much as the 
pure abstraction of painting. 

The exhibition includes numerous and diverse examples of abstraction in painting and 
sculpture. Mondrian, who began his career painting romantic Impressionist land- 
scapes and was influenced by his discovery of Cubism, systematically developed a 
highly abstract language, reducing painting to its simplest elements. In the exhibition, 
significant works by Mondrian such as Composition, 1938-39, can be compared to the 
more dynamic abstraction of the Constructivist and Suprematist compositions of the 
Russian avant-garde by El Lissitsky and Malevich, or by the more lyrical compositions 13 
of Kandinsky or Swiss painter Klee who taught their methods of abstraction at the 
Bauhaus in Weimar in the early 1920s. Malevich is represented by an early master- 
piece of 1912, Morning in the Village After Snowstorm, with figures in a landscape 
painted in bold color and geometry, as well as by a purely abstract geometrical compo- 
sition of 1916. A language of abstraction is carried out in sculpture in the work of 
Rumanian-born Brancusi. 

While the thrust of Solomon Guggenheim's collection was abstract painting, the Gug- 
genheim collection now includes numerous masterpieces of more figurative modern 
painting, including Henri Matisse's beautiful Italian Woman, 1916, and the famous 
Nude, 1917, by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, purchased by Solomon himself in 
1938. 

Not clearly either figurative or abstract, Italian Futurism is represented by Gino 
Severini with Red Cross Train Passing a Village, 1915, and Balla with Abstract 
Speed + Sound, 1913-14. The metaphysical is sensed in Giorgio di Chirico's The 
Nostalgia of the Poet, 1914, which incorporates all of the enigmatic elements of his 
pictorial discourse: the torso with dark sunglasses, the fish, the mannequin and the 
magical symbol of the obelisk. The elements and objects feed on each other, continu- 
ing in infinite associations but not divulging any single interpretation, leaving open 
the mystery of the painting. 

Dada is anticipated by the masterpiece of Duchamp, Nude (Study), Sad Young Man 
on a Train, 1911-12, that the artist identifies as a self-portrait, and is also an earlier 
version of the illustrious Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, 1912. Francis Picabia's 
Very Rare Picture on the Earth, 1915, attests to the Dada interest in the mechanical 
ideal, that ironic substitute for the human being. 

The final segment of the installation focuses on Surrealism, the Freudian-inspired al- 
ternative to abstraction. While Solomon Guggenheim, with Rebay's assistance, cham- 
pioned abstract painting, his flamboyant niece Peggy Guggenheim equally cherished 
the Surrealists. The inquietude of Surrealist painting congeals on canvas the dream- 
like and the unreal — where the world of the profound and unknown unconscious 
is given reality. In the Antipope, 1941-42, the artist Max Ernst portrays himself as 
courted and fondled by feathery female figures. Yet if Ernst speaks of his situation 
between desire and reality, Joan Miro, in The Tilled Field, 1923-24, speaks of an en- 
tire surreal universe. His poetic vision unites disparate and contrasting elements that 
could never coexist in reality. In one passage of the painting an eye and an ear are 



isolated, moving among animals from a medieval painting of Hieronymus Bosch and 
other fragments of reality: a newspaper, a snail and a pine tree. 
Close to the painting of Miro is a Surrealism made concrete in sculptural and bio- 
morphic forms such as Jean Arp's sculptural relief Constellation with Five White Forms 
and Two Black, Variation III, 1932. Alexander Calder assembles found objects and 
other materials with wire and string that recombine themselves by way of movement 
(from which the term mobile derives) while Giacometti undertakes work on the incor- 
poreal. The artist intends to communicate the essential value of the interiority of the 
individual that emerges when the body dematerializes. 

Combining an interest in the innovative formal possibilities of Picasso's Cubism with 
the dreamlike psychology of Surrealism, American painter Jackson Pollock in the 
1940s developed a style that was as original and influential to the art of the second 
half of the twentieth century as Cezanne's or Picasso's had been to the first half. Pol- 
lock's expressive procedure of pouring color directly from the paint cans and tubes 
aspired to eliminate, in the dialogue between painting and the artist, any intellectual 
mediation, bearing testimony only to gesture. Five works by Pollock in the Guggen- 
heim collection conclude the Palazzo Grassi presentation, including Enchanted Forest, 
1947. Recalling the sensation of Manet's Before the Mirror, Pollock's tall canvas is 
transformed literally into a mirror, reproducing not an external image but an entirely 
abstract reflection of an interior psychology. 



14 



Umberto Eco The Museum and Its Vicissitudes 



Many will recall, no doubt, those paintings by the eighteenth-century artist Pannini 
portraying picture galleries that make your head spin: canvases cramming the high 
walls of great baroque rooms, between antique columns, beneath coffered ceilings. 
The paintings seem almost crushed by capitals and cornices, in spaces punctuated with 
sculptures. Pictures are hung in long rows, one above the other, until they resemble 
a huge series of comic strips. There are more pictures on the floor, stacked up or 
propped against something. Through this nightmare orgy, we see the collector ad- 
vance, in the scarlet robes of a cardinal, and it is hard to say whether he is more proud 
or bewildered by the havoc he has wreaked. For not one of these paintings can be 
seen for itself, and what emerges from the assemblage is only a kind of deafening 
visual cacophony, the triumph of the collector's greed. 

Padre Kircher's museum at the Collegio Romano (long defunct) must have been more 
or less similar, perhaps the most delirious example of Wunderkammer, 
or collection of marvels, where the archaeological find, the exotic trouvaille, the 
unheard-of monstrosity, the unicorn's horn, the embalmed phoenix, all jumbled 
together, gave the erudite, impassioned collection that sense of vertiginous instabili- 
ty, of uneasy asymmetry that characterized the century of Wonders. 
Pannini's paintings depict, perhaps not with art, but surely with artful verisimilitude, 15 
the taste that has always, from antiquity to our own times, been one aspect of the 
great collectors: that for possession, for accumulation. The collector concealed in ord- 
er to possess and possessed in order to conceal. The ancient collection achieved the 
same effect that the Sunday edition of The New York Times achieves now; since it 
tells you everything and informs you about everything, in hundreds of pages, a week 
is not enough time to read it. 

The works in a princely collection were amassed like economic assets or like objects 
of worship. The fetishistic worship of quantity prevailed over taste. The collector be- 
came a bit like the sexual athlete (or to put it more politely, the playboy), who has 
no interest in a profound emotional relationship but wants instead to compile lists of 
human beings who somehow, absently, have been his. 

The aristocratic collector appropriated for himself, sometimes through money, some- 
times through theft, objects that no one else would then be able to see. But though 
the bourgeois museum came into existence to give the public access to private collec- 
tions, it commits the same sin of fetishism and suffers the same compulsion to ac- 
cumulate. In this respect the museum infects its visitor with the collector's disease: 
it incites him to an equally fetishistic, frenzied possession, even if it is only visual and 
transitory. In a museum all the works can (must) be "seen" or "looked at," but none 
is truly "enjoyed." The visitors are turned into furious lemmings: blindly trampling 
one another along the obligatory route between entrance and exit, they perform a 
double, ritual sacrifice, killing themselves as lovers of art and killing the works of art 
they claim to love. 

The true art enthusiast knows all this; in fact, when he visits a museum, he goes to 
revisit or to discover no more than one or two pictures at a time; if he then looks at 
them with the passion and the attention they demand, afterward he will be too 
exhausted to look at any others. And this is why the most admirable museums are 
those complemented with bar, garden, shop. These are not, as many fanciers of the 
museum-as-grave still believe, concessions to the consumer society, but devices that 
allow a rest, an interruption; they give longer visits a suitable pace, a critical rhythm, 
and they attenuate the scoptophilia, the insane voyeurism, that a museum may occa- 
sionally encourage. 

Contemporary museum theory has found new ways "to show" and not to "hide" a 
museum's treasures, by creating special shows on a single theme, by inventing differ- 
ent itineraries that allow choices and exclusions. In a good museum you must be able 



to go and look slowly, and decide what you do not want to look at. The Guggenheim, 
for example, with its spiral structure, imposes a ascent, a pleasant initiation where the 
ramp controls the pace of your progress and does not allow furious speed. 
But if many contemporary museums have resolved the problems familiar from the old 
picture galleries and sculpture collections, they still suffer from a limitation that is in- 
herent in every form of collection. The work of art is housed in a privileged place, 
available only to two categories of people: local residents, who as a rule ignore it, and 
tourists, forced by lack of time to make raids lasting a few hours at most. This limita- 
tion is intrinsic to the very uniqueness of the works displayed. 
For this reason, some time ago the great architect Konrad Wachsmann proposed an 
itinerant museum, a great traveling container, a sort of circus tent, on whose walls 
the latest and most sensitive equipment would project slides of art works in their actu- 
al dimensions. In this way, in the course of a week, the public of a provincial city 
would be able to admire the greatest masterpieces of the Louvre or the Hermitage. 
The pictures would be reproductions, true, but better a reproduction than nothing, 
and for that matter the Museum of Metaphysical Painting in Ferrara, which has only 
slides, proves that, if the historical and didactic itinerary is well organized and the 
finest technical means are employed, the visitor can comprehend and enjoy works 
reproduced at an acceptable level of fidelity. After all, generations of listeners discov- 
ered and enjoyed the musical masterpieces of every age through recordings or in 
amateur performances that we today would consider unacceptable. (But it is even pos- 
sible that many of those listeners understood Bach, Beethoven or Verdi better than 
those who today can go to La Scala or to Carnegie Hall, or can afford compact disks.) 
In recent years, however, thanks to improved transportation and to advanced tech- 
16 niques of packing and crating, we have witnessed a new phenomenon: it is the muse- 

um itself, with its genuine works of art, that travels. In the course of the coming de- 
cades, this development will bring about a profound change for all in the field of art 
education. 

I do not mean to exhibit a facile optimism, or to deny that this phenomenon, too, 
has some troubling features: increased tourism impels crowds to visit the cities of art 
savagely, and the multiplication of traveling exhibitions in cities of art cannot allevi- 
ate this trend, but rather encourages it. 

But this is another problem, one of the most worrying contradictions of our century. 
Critics, historians, educators, enlightened politicians, all have always hoped that 
works of art would not be at the disposal of a few fortunate owners or a few rich gen- 
tlemen and ladies who could allow themselves the luxury of an art journey in the coun- 
try where the lemons bloom, to cultivate their Stendhal syndrome. At the moment 
when the democratic dream of art for all is coming true, we realize that all are too 
many, and that the masses can endanger the health of the cities of art and of the 
works that they house and display. 

There are no easy solutions for this problem, but we might note that the traveling 
museum and the temporary exhibition to some extent sift their audience not accord- 
ing to social rank but according to motivation. My hope is that these temporary exhi- 
bitions may increasingly be held not in cities already rich in tourist attractions but 
in more remote localities, still to be discovered and appreciated. Then art will truly 
have come out of the museums, and the museums will have come out of themselves. 



Thomas Krens The Genesis of a Museum: the Guggenheim Legacy 



When the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum inaugurated its famed Frank Lloyd 
Wright building in 1959, the museum itself was already twenty years old and the col- 
lection was more than thirty years in the making. What originated as a private ac- 
cumulation of some of the finest examples of twentieth-century European avant- 
garde painting emerged over the years as a professional institution devoted to the 
edification and education of an increasingly art-aware public. Unlike other museums 
founded in New York at roughly the same time — the Whitney Museum of American 
Art, distinguished by its national parameters, and The Museum of Modern Art, nota- 
ble for its encyclopedic approach to the history of modernist culture — the Guggen- 
heim was initially committed to one specific aesthetic vision: non-objectivity in art. 
Articulated by its founder Hilla Rebay, epitomized visually by the painter Vasily Kan- 
dinsky and endowed by Solomon R. Guggenheim, this collective vision of pure 
painterly abstraction served as the catalyst for a remarkable, though idiosyrcratic, as- 
semblage of canvases and works on paper. 

The founder of the museum that bears his name, Solomon R. Guggenheim was born 
into a large, affluent family of Swiss origin which amassed its fortune in American 
mining during the nineteenth century. In the manner of the educated, prosperous 
elite, Guggenheim and his wife Irene Rothschild were brought up in a tradition of 17 
philanthropy and connoisseurship, and became enthusiastic patrons of the arts, ac- 
cumulating a collection of old-master paintings, including Flemish panel pieces, 
American landscapes and French Barbizon canvases as well as Audubon prints and 
Oriental manuscript illuminations. Although fashioned after exemplary American art 
collections assembled by such entrepreneurs as Henry Frick and J. P. Morgan, Gug- 
genheim's acquisitions decisions suffered from his lack of expertise, a rather unde- 
fined personal taste, and his relatively late entry into a highly competitive market. 
The tenor of Guggenheim's patronage shifted dramatically, however, in 1927 when 
he first encountered the young German baroness Hilla Rebay von Ehrenwiesen, who 
introduced him to the most experimental trends in contemporary European painting. 
The daughter of a Prussian military officer who was also a gifted woodworker and 
painter, Hilla Rebay studied art and music at an early age. Though extremely talented 
as a portrait painter, Rebay eventually gravitated toward the most radical tendencies 
in European art. The Dada artist, Jean Arp, Rebay's suitor from 1915 until 1917, in- 
itiated her into the avant-garde art world. For instance, he presented her with a copy 
of Kandinsky's treatise IJber das Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art) for 
Christmas of 1916 and during that year introduced her to Herwarth Walden, owner 
of the Berlin Gallery Der Sturm, where she exhibited her paintings in 1917. Im- 
pressed by the artists with whom she exhibited at Der Sturm, including Robert Delau- 
nay, Albert Gleizes, Kandinsky and, most significantly, her longtime confidant and 
lover Rudolf Bauer, Rebay embraced the idea of non-objectivity in art as both a style 
and an aesthetic philosophy. Differentiating between abstraction as an aesthetic deri- 
vation of forms found in the empirical world and non-objectivity as pure artistic in- 
vention, Rebay devoted herself to the latter, believing it was infused with a mystical 
essence. Her own studies, at the age of fourteen, with Rudolf Steiner in the esoteric 
religion of theosophy laid the foundation for her life-long pursuit of the spiritual in 
art. 

The word "non-objective" is Rebay's translation of the German term "gegenstand- 
los," which means, literally, "without object." Used in Kandinsky's theoretical writ- 
ings and most frequently in Bauer's correspondence with Rebay, the term came to sig- 
nify for her a unity of the highest aesthetic and spiritual principles. "Never before 
in the history of the world," wrote Rebay years after she first formulated her artistic 
mission, "has there been a greater step forward from the materialistic to the spiritual 
than from objectivity to non-objectivity in painting. Because it is our destiny to be 




18 



VasiJy Kandinsky, Composition 
July 1923 



creative and our fate to become spiritual, humanity will come to develop and enjoy 
greater intuitive power through creations of great art, the glorious masterpieces of 
non-objectivity." ' 

Rebay's goal upon moving to America in 1927 was to establish a collection of non- 
objective art. -Commissioned to paint Solomon R. Guggenheim's portrait that same 
year, Rebay began a crusade to promote the art in which she so profoundly believed. 
Motivated by Rebay's impassioned commitment and lured, perhaps, by the thought 
of pioneering in a relatively untouched area of collecting, Guggenheim began to syste- 
matically purchase works of non-objective artists in 1929. 

During the spring of 1929, the Guggenheims accompanied Rebay on a European tour. 
Introduced to Kandinsky in his Dessau studio, Guggenheim purchased an important 
oil painting, Composition 8, 1923, the first of more than 150 works by the artist to 
enter the collection throughout the years. Even though Bauer held a privileged posi- 
tion in Rebay's vision of non-objective art — she arranged for Guggenheim to entirely 
subsidize Bauer's production, providing a monthly income in return for paintings — 
it was the presence of Kandinsky's work that ultimately defined the tenor of the col- 
lection. 

Russian-born Vasily Kandinsky is associated with the earliest formulation of pure 
non-mimetic painting. The artist's color-infused canvases of dynamically converging 
and contrasting forms demonstrate his philosophy of abstraction, which is defined in 
hist most widely read theoretical writings: Uber das Geistige in der Kunst, 1911, and 
Punkt und Linie zu Fldche (Point and Line to Plane), 1926. Inspired by the theosophical 
teachings of Rudolf Steiner (as was Rebay), Symbolism and its Romantic antecedents, 
the intense and direct new visions of the French Fauves and German Expressionists, 
as well as by the atonal music of Arnold Schonberg, Kandinsky developed a painting 
technique that, he professed, resonated with spiritual harmony. Comparing colors to 
musical tones and shapes to specific emotional states, he devised a formal vocabulary 
expressive of what he termed the artist's "inner necessity." While it has since been 
proven by scholars that Kandinsky's seemingly non-mimetic forms were actually ab- 
stracted from models drawn from literature or biological phenomena, his written 
proclamations and evocative canvases convinced Hilla Rebay that his work exempli- 
fied her own goals as a painter and curator devoted to non-objectivity. 
In addition to the work of Kandinsky and Bauer, early acquisitions included paintings 
by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Fernand Leger, Delaunay, Gleizes, Marc Chagall and 
Amedeo Modigliani. Soon the walls of Guggenheim's suite at the Plaza Hotel were 
covered to capacity with the new collection. Inevitably, his thoughts turned toward 
the possibility of publicly exhibiting the work and in 1937 he established The Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim Foundation for "promotion and encouragement and educa- 
tion in art and the enlightenment of the public." 2 With the Foundation incorporat- 
ed, Guggenheim envisioned the construction of a museum designed to house the ever- 
increasing collection. Seizing upon his intentions, Hilla Rebay immediately began to 
plan how best to realize their dream. Her correspondence from the 1930s is filled with 
proposals to erect a "museum-temple" of non-objective art. Schemes included an ex- 
hibition hall at Rockefeller Center to be designed by Frederick Kiesler and Edmund 
Korner; a relocation to Charleston, South Carolina, where Guggenheim owned an es- 
tate; and a debut at the 1939 New York World's Fair in a specially fabricated circular 
pavilion. Finally, in 1939, Guggenheim rented a former automobile showroom on 
East 54th Street which Rebay transformed, with the assistance of architect William 
Muschenheim, into a functioning, temporary exhibition space named The Museum 
of Non-Objective Painting. Only the purest examples of non-objective art were 
shown in the new museum; abstract or representational works by artists considered 
precursors - — also included in the collection by this time — remained at Guggen- 
heim's Plaza suite. Rebay, assuming the position of the Museum's first Director, 
decorated the gallery walls with pleated gray velour and covered the floors with thick 
gray carpeting. The plush velvet-upholstered seats, subtle indirect lighting, recorded 
music by Chopin and Bach and the odor of incense wafting through the rooms created 
an atmosphere designed to spiritually enlighten as well as aesthetically entertain. The 
Museum was a great success, attracting many young American abstract painters, 
whom Rebay welcomed and supported and whose work she eventually exhibited. 




Irene Guggenheim, Vasily Kandinsky, Hilla 
Rebay and Solomon R. Guggenheim at 
Kandinsky residence at the Bauhaus, Dessau, 
Summer, 1930 




Museum of Non-Objective Painting 
24 East 54th Street 



A woman of formidable energy and determination, Rebay instituted a series of travel- 
ing loan exhibitions devoted to Guggenheim's collection while simultaneously or- 
ganizing shows in the East 54th Street space. For each of the loan exhibitions held 
at the Gibbes Art Gallery, Charleston (March 1 - April 12, 1936), The Philadelphia 
Art Alliance (February 8-28, 1937), and The Baltimore Museum of Art (January 6-29, 
1939), the Foundation published an illustrated catalogue with didactic essays by Re- 
bay on the principles and goals of non-objectivity. Her texts reveal an obsession with 
the metaphysical and an implicit belief in the teleological progression of history and 
culture. Although Rebay's proclamations may sound naive today, her reflections on 
this particular strain of modernist thought remain a remarkable document of the 
period. 

In 1943, to meet the demands of the by-then flourishing Museum of Non-Objective 
Painting, Hilla Rebay initiated her campaign to build a permanent structure to accom- 
modate the Guggenheim collection and the activities of the Foundation. It took little 
time for her (apparently with the assistance of Irene Guggenheim) to select the 
renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the project. When she saw an 
exhibition of Wright's work in Berlin in 1910 and read his published writings, Rebay 
discovered a kindred spirit in matters of art and its presentation. Wright's description 
of organic architecture recalls the art for which Rebay proselytized — a regenerative 
art full of moral and Utopian implications that seemed to materialize as a direct ex- 
pression of its creator's soul: "Out of the ground into the light — yes! Not only must 
the building so proceed, but we cannot have an organic architecture unless we achieve 
an organic society!... We who love architecture and recognize it as the great sense of 
structure in whatever is — music, painting, sculpture, or life itself — we must some- 
how act as intermediaries — maybe missionaries.'" 

In her first letter to the architect, Rebay appealed to his powerful aesthetic sensibility 
and determination to design integrated, organic environments: "Could you ever come 
to New York and discuss with me a building for our collection of non-objective paint- 
ings. I feel that each of these great masterpieces should be organized into space and 
only you, so it seems to me, would test the possibilities to do so. I do not think these 
paintings are easel paintings. They are order creating order and are sensitive (correc- 
tive even) to space.... I need a fighter, a lover of space, an originator, a tester and 
a wise man.... I want a temple of spirit — a monument! And your help to make it 
possible...." 4 

This initial contact marked the beginning of a frequent and impassioned correspon- 
dence between Wright and Rebay that endured until the architect's death in 1959, 
the year the building was finally completed. Their scores of letters disclose both cor- 
respondents' unique philosophical musings on art and architecture in addition to 
documenting the myriad changes in conception, design and construction that the 
Museum underwent during its sixteen-year-long period of realization. 
Immediately after the contract between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Foundation was 
signed in June 1943, the architect embarked on an investigation of possible sites for 
the new structure, believing that its form and composition depended upon its physical 
environment. Locations considered for the Museum included a wooded plot overlook- 
ing the Hudson River in Riverdale, the Bronx; a portion of land on West 54th Street 
adjacent to The Museum of Modern Art; and an entire block on East 37th Street and 
Madison Avenue. By 1944 plans for a spiral-shaped building — a motif first 
prefigured in Wright's 1924 design for the Gordon Strong Planetarium in Maryland 
and later realized in the V. C. Morris store in San Francisco — had begun to emerge. 
"A museum," he explained in a letter to Rebay, "should be one extended expansive 
well proportioned floor space from bottom to top.... No stops anywhere." 5 In the 
meantime, the Foundation acquired land on Fifth Avenue between East 88th and 
East 89th streets, then occupied by a six-story mansion. The collection was housed 
and exhibited there from 1947 to 1956, when construction of the new building began 
and it was relocated once again, to 7 East 72nd Street. Rebay retained the same 
shrinelike atmosphere that had prevailed on East 54th Street in the new quarters on 
Fifth Avenue: Bauers and Kandinskys in heavy gilded frames were hung on gray 
fabric-covered walls. The close proximity of the canvases to the floor — an installa- 
tion technique resulting from Rebay's contention that paintings hung low encouraged 



19 




Installation view, "In Memory of Vasily Kandinsky" 
exhibition, Museum of Non-Objective Painting, 24 East 54th 
Street, 1945 



20 




Museum of Non-Objective Painting 
1071 Fifth Avenue 
ca 1948 



physical as well as spiritual experiences — invited the following criticism from the 
Saturday Review: "...only flies, alight on the carpets, can have seen... [the canvases] 
properly.'"' 

In 1945 Wright completed the first scale plexiglass model for what he designated as 
"The Modern Gallery." This model unveiled the building's innovative and radical 
structural design, an architectural strategy that negated the elaborate, labored am- 
bience of the converted Fifth Avenue mansion. Conceived as one continuous, cur- 
vilinear, poured-concrete ramp spiraling upward almost one hundred feet to a glass 
skylight, Wright's museum redefined the possibilities for exhibition space. Intimate, 
nichelike bays situated along the entire length of the ramp provide the primary areas 
for display. Set into a low rectangular base in conformity with New York's rigid grid 
system, the grand cantilevered spiral is attached to a smaller circular service structure, 
which, known as the Monitor Building, was originally intended as a residence for Re- 
bay. The circle resounds as a leitmotif throughout the complex, appearing as a subtle 
decorative element in the window grills, the terrazzo floors and exterior pavement, 
as well as in structural elements such as the elevator shaft. The very center of the 
Museum is a cylindrical void, which allows for dramatic views across the space. From 
any vantage point, visitors can glimpse where they are going and whence they came, 
and they can see and re-see paintings as they stroll down the ramp. Early designs for 
the Museum reveal Wright's inspiration for the structure: the towering spiral 
represents his curvilinear interpretation of ancient Mesopotamian ziggurats, which 
were sites of prayer. Perhaps he selected this shape in deference to Rebay's request 
for a "temple to non-objectivity." The social ambience of Wright's building must be 
stressed, however. While Rebay and Wright often discussed the Museum as a sub- 
dued place for contemplation, the architect also conceived of it as a place for public 
engagement. The open pass-through driveway, circling ramps, garden retreats, ab- 
sence of partitions, the cafe and underground auditorium encouraged the continuous 
flow of people. In contrast to the environment in the white, static cube of the conven- 
tional modern museum architecture, the emphasis is on fluidity, motion and perpetu- 
ally changing vistas. 

In 1946, when construction of the new building seemed imminent, an exterior and 
interior model was presented to members of the press. Life magazine published a two- 
page spread featuring photographs of Wright's model, which was complete with elec- 
trical wiring and a mock exhibition. Captioned "New Art Museum Will Be New 
York's Strangest Building," the article made the cylindrical structure famous — or 
perhaps infamous — well before it was built. In fact, Wright received a proposal from 
Philip Johnson, Director of the Department of Architecture and Design at The Muse- 
um of Modern Art and himself an architect, in 1952 stating: "The Museum of 
Modern Art would like very much to formalize our greeting to your museum by giving 
a one-person show to your design.... It would be of greatest interest to the public, 
and it seems to us that it would also help the Guggenheim Foundation to a good 
publicity send-off."' 

Though Wright agreed, the exhibition never took place and the public had to wait 
seven more years before construction was completed. Several factors contributed to 
prolonging the project, including two alterations in the site itself. As the corner lots 
of 89th and 88th streets were acquired (in 1948 and 1951, respectively), Wright 
made major revisions in the plans for the building, though the spiral form remained 
a constant. When Solomon Guggenheim — who intentionally delayed building be- 
cause of postwar inflation — died in 1949, construction was further postponed until 
a new administration was in place in the Museum. Encountering resistance from the 
Museum's Trustees to support the unprecedented and increasingly expensive building 
project, Wright astutely suggested it be reconceived as a memorial to Solomon R. 
Guggenheim. In 1952 the name of the institution was officially changed to the Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim Museum. 

The modification in name from the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which indi- 
cated a strictly circumscribed aesthetic scope, to the more neutral, yet commemora- 
tive, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum reflects certain institutional revisions that oc- 
curred around the time of its benefactor's death. In 1948, the Museum purchased the 
entire estate of Karl Nierendorf, a New York art dealer who specialized in German 




Frank Lloyd Wright, Hilla Rebay and Solomon R. 
Guggenheim with the model of the museum, 1945 



painting. This acquisition enriched the collection by some 730 objects, includ- 
ing eighteen Kandinskys, one hundred ten Klees, six Chagalls and twenty-four 
Feiningers. Perhaps more importantly for the future of the institution, Nierendorf's 
holdings expanded the scope of the Museum's focus by the inclusion of many major 
Expressionist and Surrealist works, particularly notable among the former Oskar 
Kokoschka's historic Knight Errant. 

During the early 1950s, the Museum was widely criticized for the limited scope of 
its programming. Though Hilla Rebay had always been receptive to and supportive 
of young, emerging artists, her criterion of non-objectivity was construed by many as 
too biased and restrictive. In 1951 Aline Louchheim (later Aline Saarinen), the art 
critic for The New York Times, questioned whether the Museum was "justifying its 
tax-free status as an educational museum," and described the institution as "an eso- 
teric, occult place in which a mystic language was spoken." 8 In response to such 
serious remonstrations, Harry F. Guggenheim, then President of the Foundation, is- 
sued a statement announcing revised exhibition programming that would include 
"objective" examples of modern art.'' Realizing that no true shift in exhibition poli- 
cy could occur with Rebay still in charge of the Museum, the Trustees requested her 
resignation, which they received in March of 1952. Seven months later it was an- 
nounced that James Johnson Sweeney had accepted the position she had vacated. 
Formerly Director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of 
Modern Art, Sweeney approached his new curatorial and directorial role with a 
broader sensibility than Rebay, augmenting the collection with works that encom- 
passed more aspects of modern art than the non-objective. Attempting to fill serious 
gaps in the collection — such as the almost complete absence of sculpture, which Re- 
bay did not admit due to its "corporeality" — he instituted an aggressive acquisition 
program. Before Sweeney resigned in 1960, eleven Brancusis, three Archipenkos, 
seven Calders, bronzes by Max Ernst and Alberto Giacometti, as well as other major 
works, such as Paul Cezanne's Man with Crossed Arms and seminal Abstract Expres- 
sionist paintings by Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline and Willem de Kooning, were ac- 
quired. In addition to Sweeney's purchases the Museum received a bequest from the 
Estate of Katherine S. Dreier who, along with Marcel Duchamp, had founded the So- 
ciete Anonyme. Most important among the twenty-eight works of art donated by the 
Dreier Estate in 1953 were Brancusi's Little French Girl, 1914-18, an Archipenko 
bronze, 1919, Mondrian's Composition, 1929, an untitled Gris still life, 1916, and 
three Schwitters collages dating from the early 1920s. 

Sweeney's revision of acquisition policies was symptomatic of the dramatic institu- 
tional changes that he initiated upon assuming directorship of the Museum. Ten 
members of Hilla Rebay's staff were terminated on his first day of work." 1 In the 
spirit of professionalism, Sweeney hired a registrar, initiated a conservation program, 
established a photography department, and expanded the library. He redecorated the 
exhibition spaces in the mansion, dispensing with the plush, curtained walls in favor 
of clean, white surfaces, and displayed the paintings without their customary heavy 
gold or ornate wood frames. Sweeney also rescued the many "objective" masterworks 
languishing in storage or hidden away in Guggenheim's Plaza suite, highlighting them 
in a series of Selections exhibitions during his early tenure. Interspersed with the 
collection-oriented exhibitions were critically acclaimed loan shows assembled at the 
Museum by Sweeney, such as the first large-scale American exhibition of Robert 
Delaunay's oeuvre, the first retrospective of Brancusi's sculpture and the first com- 
prehensive museum analysis of Giacometti's work, all held in 1955. Sweeney also in- 
stituted a program of exhibitions of important but not excessively valuable works, 
which were lent for periods of six to nine months to various small American museums 
and university galleries that lacked resources in modern art; this practice was elaborat- 
ed upon and fully realized during the 1980s through the Guggenheim's Collection 
Sharing Program. 

When asked by the The New York Times how he equated his revised policies with Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim's innovative but narrowly focused vision, Sweeney replied that he 
found "non-objective a linguistic confusion." "More importantly," stated the Times 
article, "he believes the significance of the great works in the collection lies in their fun- 
damental aesthetic values, not in the fact they fit into a verbal category." 



21 




lomon H Guggenheim Museum 
Under construction, ca. 1956 



22 




ca. 1957,58 




ca. 1958-59 



Sweeney's installation technique corresponded to his emphasis on formal and, hence, 
visual correlations among works of art, as opposed to thematic or conceptual subdivi- 
sions. He did not, for instance, employ didactic wall labels, believing that aesthetic 
objects are self-explanatory, experiential entities. "When you install pictures so that 
visual and not intellectual focal points are contrasted, thinking of space relationships 
and tensions between objects," he once explained, "these relationships and contrasts 
bring out criticism, which is more important than chronological or historical 
data." 12 

It was in the area of installation design that Sweeney disagreed most profoundly with 
Frank Lloyd Wright's plans for the new museum building. Initially, Sweeney's prag- 
matic attitude toward the museum environment ran counter to Wright's conception 
of the institution as a haven for contemplation, relaxation and artistic experimenta- 
tion. Their correspondence records often bitter conflicts over specific architectural 
details as well as each man's thoughts concerning the role of the Museum. Fortunately 
for Wright, he found an advocate in Harry Guggenheim and his wife Alicia, who re- 
mained committed to Solomon Guggenheim's and Rebay's vision for the new struc- 
ture even though they supported critical policy changes. When Sweeney repeatedly 
demanded more space for administrative offices as well as areas for conservation, 
preparation and photography — all requisites for the modern, professional art institu- 
tion — Wright attempted to accommodate his requests. But he would not condone 
the Director's rejection of his designs for natural lighting and gently sloping display 
walls and for the color scheme he specified. Convinced that Sweeney would not abide 
by his plans for the interior of the Museum, Wright prepared a series of perspective 
drawings illustrating sample exhibitions. Entitled Reception, The Watercolor Society, 
The Average — Sculpture and Painting, The Middle of the Road and The Masterpiece, 
the drawings offered a graphic tour through the Museum's interior as Wright envi- 
sioned it. The architect distributed copies of this series, along with an essay called 
"The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: An Experiment in the Third Dimension," 
to the Trustees and to various architecture journals as testimony to his intentions. 
Wright favored natural light which, according to his design, would flow in from above 
through the glass dome and from behind the paintings through a narrow glass band 
running along the exterior wall of the spiral. He also wanted to include mirrors on 
the web walls in the bays to catch and refract incoming light, which would act as a 
kind of natural spotlight. Artificial illumination would be available in the event of 
poor weather and for evening viewing. Defending his lighting scheme in a 1955 letter 
to Sweeney, Wright wrote in his usual flamboyant manner: "The strength of the Gug- 
genheim, as you know, is as a space in which to view the painter's creation truthfully, 
that is to say honestly, in the varying light as seen by the painter himself and in which 
it was born to be seen.... A humanist must believe that any picture in a fixed light 
is only a 'fixed' picture! If this fixation be ideal, then see death as the ideal state for 
man. The morgue!" 13 

Wright's plan for the installation of paintings along the spiral ramp is evident in his 
perspective drawings: the canvases, supported by the slanted base of the gently slop- 
ing rear walls, were intended to tilt slightly backward, as if on easels. Wright believed 
that their proximity to the viewer would sustain the human scale he was attempting 
to secure in the building. Sweeney and the Trustees thought this design would sub- 
jugate the paintings to the architectural scheme and wanted, instead, to "float" the 
canvases perpendicular to the floor by means of support rods projecting from the 
walls. In an attempt once again to justify his intentions, Wright explained to Harry 
Guggenheim that he conceived of "the building and the painting as one uninterrupt- 
ed, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the world of Art before." ' The 
theoretical battle with Sweeney and the administration continued over the choice of 
color for the interior. Though Wright envisioned the interior walls painted in soft 
ivory tones, Sweeney favored bright white, much to the architect's dismay. Employ- 
ing his persuasive, dramatic writing style, Wright pronounced his thoughts on the 
subject: "White, itself the loudest color of all, is the sum of all colors. If activated 
by strong light it is to color like a corpse. To use it as a forcing-ground for a delicate 
painting would be like taking high C in music as a background for orchestral tonality. 
Easy to see this as ruinous in music — if one is not deaf. If not color blind, 




Frank Lloyd Wright in the Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum 
(Photo William H. Short) 



whitewashed environment is just as ruinous to the sensitive color sense of painting. 
Background becomes foreground! Therefore in violation of the balance of the values 
of almost any color-composition the corpse takes over. But soft ivory is... sympatheti- 
cally self-effacing instead of competitive...." n 

Such disputes continued, with Wright formulating increasingly eloquent explications 
of design and theory, virtually until his death in April 1959, six months before the 
Museum opened to the public. 

Despite the antagonistic relationship between Sweeney and the architect, in 1953 the 
Museum hosted an international touring exhibition devoted to Wright's achieve- 
ments. Presented in a 7,300 square-foot pavilion erected by Wright — as an example 
of a Usonian House, designed as an easily assembled, cost-efficient dwelling — the 
show revealed the great diversity of the buildings and projects he completed during 
his sixty-year career. Included in the exhibition was a model of the Guggenheim 
Museum, which, when examined in the context of Wright's rich oeuvre, stirred pub- 
lic interest in the projected structure. According to a contemporaneous New York 
Times article, the exhibition attracted 80,241 visitors in fifty-two days. "The Gug- 
genheim," claimed Aline B. Saarinen, "has put Eighty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue 
on the map as — at least for this season — the liveliest museum of modern art in the 
United States." 16 

When Wright's Museum building opened to the public on October 21, 1959, enor- 
mous crowds of people lined up to experience the architecture and to see the impres- 
sive inaugural exhibition of highlights from the Guggenheim collection. Newspaper 
accounts at the time reported an attendance on opening day of some three thousand 
people. Although generally favorable, opinions on the structure were restrained. 
While extolling the building as a sculptural masterpiece, art critics voiced concern for 
the integrity of the art object within such an overwhelming architectural environ- 
ment. On one extreme, Emily Genauer pronounced in Architectural Forum that the 
Museum "has turned out to be the most beautiful building in America... never for 
a minute dominating the pictures being shown...;" while on the other, Ada Louise 
Huxtable wrote in The New York Times that the structure is "less a museum than 
it is a monument to Frank Lloyd Wright." 17 The fact that Wright began referring 
to the building during the last few years of construction as the "Archemuseum," an 
appellation that caused considerable alarm among the trustees, only served to justify 
the critics' apprehension. Over the years, however, artists and curators have found 
the distinctive space a welcome challenge. As Wright intended, the self-enclosed 
structure composed of pure, curving lines has offered new possibilities for installa- 
tions, exhibitions and the contemplation of art. 

Shortly after the Museum opened, James Johnson Sweeney resigned as Director, and 
in 1961 he was replaced by Thomas M. Messer. Prior to Messer's appointment, H. 
H. Arnason, who had been Director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, was 
enlisted to serve as a Trustee and the Vice-President for Art Administration. He was 
requested to oversee the general development of the Museum until a new administra- 
tion was established. While at the Guggenheim, Arnason organized a number of im- 
portant exhibitions, including a retrospective of Philip Guston's work and the first 
survey of Abstract Expressionism in a New York museum. 

When Messer accepted the position of third Director of the Guggenheim, he was 
faced with expanding the programs of the Museum, which was housed in a unique 
and unprecedented building that had gained international recognition immediately 
upon opening. He thus enlarged upon Sweeney's efforts to modernize and profession- 
alize the Museum's staff and administrative structure. During his twenty-seven-year 
directorship, Messer initiated an ambitious publications program focused not only on 
temporary exhibitions but also on the growing collection, which required in-depth 
cataloging of works as well as the institution of scholarly research projects. Master- 
works from the collection are meticulously documented, for instance, in Angelica 
Zander Rudenstine's two-volume book The Guggenheim Museum Collection: Paintings 
1880-1945 and Vivian Endicott Barnett's The Guggenheim Museum Justin K. Thann- 
hauser Collection. A detailed catalogue, also by Barnett, on key sculptures and works 
on paper in the Guggenheim collection is, at the time of this writing, still in prepara- 
tion. 



23 




Frank Lloyd Wright with model of the 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in the 
exhibition pavilion for "Si\tv Years of 
Architecture", 195? 



24 



Three years after the Frank Lloyd Wright building opened to the public, Messer rein- 
stituted some of the architect's original installation techniques that Sweeney had 
abolished. A letter from Lawrence Alloway, Curator at the Guggenheim at the time, 
to the painter Francis Bacon records Messer's intervention: "In the early days of the 
museum, when it was painted white, the paintings were projected off the wall by bars. 
This is no longer done, so that the paintings rest back on the wall in the accustomed 
manner. In addition, the museum is no longer painted dead white. Thus the effect 
of glare which people used to experience here is no longer felt. Not only that, but 
the pictures are now hung in line with the slope of the ramp, and not, as used to be 
the case, at an absolute horizontal. The effect of this is of complete stability of the 
painting in the visual field." 1K 

Under Messer's directorship, the curatorial and technical staff was enlarged in propor- 
tion to the increased exhibition and publishing activities that were taking place. Ac- 
quisitions followed the same comprehensive trend established by Sweeney: Leger's 
late painting, The Great Parade, 1954, Egon Schiele's Portrait of Johann Harms, 1916, 
Frantisek Kupka's Planes by Colors, Large Nude, 1909-10, Constantin Brancusi's mar- 
ble Muse, 1912, as well as numerous works by Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Paul Klee 
and Giacometti, entered the collection as critical examples of modern art. In the more 
contemporary category, Messer was responsible for the acquisitions of several paint- 
ings by Jean Dubuffet (a personal favorite of his), Francis Bacon's large triptych, 
Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1962, David Smith's stainless steel sculpture Cubi 
XXVII, 1965, Robert Rauschenberg's Red Painting, 1953, and Anselm Kiefer's 
monumental canvas Seraphim, 1983-84. A keen proponent of the international avant- 
garde, Messer also acquired works by Latin American and Eastern European artists 
throughout his tenure. Exhibitions organized by Messer and his curatorial staff were 
equally wide-ranging, covering the early modern period with a major Kandinsky 
retrospective in 1963, a later trilogy of scholarly shows devoted to discrete stylistic 
periods in Kandinsky's development, held between 1982 and 1985, a show represent- 
ing the contributions of Gustav Klimt and Schiele in 1965, a Klee retrospective in 
1967, a Piet Mondrian centennial tribute in 1971 and a survey of works by Miro relat- 
ed to poetry in 1973, to cite only a few examples. Contemporary exhibitions included 
shows devoted to Roy Lichtenstein, 1969, Carl Andre, 1970, John Chamberlain, 
1971, Eva Hesse, 1972, Joseph Beuys, 1979 and Enzo Cucchi, 1986. 
The collection was dramatically enriched in 1963, when the Foundation received a 
portion of Justin K. Thannhauser's prized collection of Impressionist, Post- 
Impressionist and Modern French masterpieces as a permanent loan, which was legal- 
ly transferred to the Foundation in 1976. The Thannhauser Bequest provided an im- 
portant historical survey of the period directly antedating that represented by the 
Guggenheim's original holdings and enhanced its concentrations of works by Picasso 
and School of Paris artists. The procurement of these paintings and sculptures, includ- 
ing major Cezannes, Gauguins, Picassos and Modiglianis, necessitated an expansion 
of the Museum's exhibition space in order to display them adequately. The Justin K. 
Thannhauser Wing was created on the second floor of the Monitor Building in 1965, 
causing the relocation of administrative offices, the library and storage space. In 
response to the now acute need for additional work areas, the Foundation commis- 
sioned Taliesin Associated Architects, the heirs to Wright's practice, to design an ad- 
joining structure on the site behind the Museum that had been reserved for an annex 
building originally envisioned by Wright. Designed by William Wesley Peters, 
Wright's son-in-law, and completed in 1968, the new Annex helped to alleviate the 
most immediate functional needs. For instance, the relocation of the conservation 
department, housed on the seventh ramp of the rotunda, to the Annex allowed the 
Museum to open the entire spiral for public viewing for the first time. Although 
planned as a six-story structure, the Annex was actually provided with only four floors 
due to unforeseen budgetary restraints. Nevertheless, because the administration 
recognized that future expansion would be inevitable, the foundation was designed 
and constructed with the capacity to carry a ten-story building. 
The Museum's history reads as one of tempered fluctuations and measured shifts that 
have occurred in accordance with internal growth and evolving cultural demands. The 
years after the Thannhauser works were permanently installed were marked by con- 




25 



Lines of patrons attending "Inaugural Selection" 
opening the building in October 1959 



tinual additions to the collections through gifts and purchases as well as perpetual re- 
organization of support areas to accommodate new services and new public spaces. 
The most critical goal of the Museum's administration during periods of relocation 
and environmental restructuring was to be able to exhibit more than a fraction of the 
permanent collection at any one time. More recently this goal has been enlarged to 
include a desire for the physical capacity to exhibit contemporary works, the scale of 
which may be prohibitive for presentation on the Guggenheim's ramps. By the early 
1980s the repeated annexing of offices for gallery space, the consequent physical res- 
traints placed on the staff and accelerated institutional development required immedi- 
ate action and an ambitious solution. In 1982 the Foundation contracted Gwathmey 
Siegel & Associates Architects to furnish a design that would provide new galleries 
and reduce insufficiencies in operating space without disrupting the Frank Lloyd 
Wright structure. Before Thomas Messer retired in 1988, he had initiated plans for 
the imminent construction of a tower, which is based on Frank Lloyd Wright's origi- 
nal design for a twelve-story annex that would act as a backdrop to the dominant 
sculptural form of the spiral Museum. Once the addition is completed the administra- 
tive staff will be moved from the Monitor Building, thus allowing public access to 
previously restricted portions of the original structure. Four new rectilinear galleries 
planned for the addition will open onto the rotunda spiral, providing an uninterrupted 
circulation pattern very much in the spirit of Wright's design. By permitting a sequen- 
tial and spatial integration of all portions of the existing complex for the first time, 
the design will enable the public to experience the entire interior of both parts of the 
original building as well as to obtain a comprehensive view of the permanent collec- 
tion. 
26 As the Guggenheim Museum evolves, two separate, but interrelated, aspects of its 

history emerge as the fundamental determinants of its unique profile as a cultural in- 
stitution. Firstly, the manner in which the original administration responded to the 
Museum's space requirements — engaging an architect who created a living monu- 
ment rather than a merely functional building — indicates a reverence for aesthetic 
form and a revolutionary spirit. Current staff members are not only inhabitants of 
the remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright structure, but are also custodians of this cultural 
treasure. Therefore, a major restoration project is now in its initial stages. Guided by 
the administration's desire to return all elements of the Museum's architecture to 
their original state, the restoration process will be as committed to historical accuracy 
as it is preventive. 

The second essential feature of the Museum is its collection, which emerged and 
evolved from a singular dream that, though enlarged upon and complemented, has 
never been forgotten. As it stands today, the Guggenheim Museum's holdings are 
primarily comprised of discrete collections — the private compilations of Solomon R. 
Guggenheim, Hilla Rebay, Karl Nierendorf, Katherine S. Dreier, Justin K. Thann- 
hauser and most recently, of Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, whose outstanding collection 
of Minimal Art has recently been acquired — which have over the years incorporated 
into one comprehensive, but not encyclopedic, array of late-nineteenth and twentieth- 
century art. 

To the list of visionary collectors who have contributed to the exemplary holdings of 
the Museum, the name of Peggy Guggenheim must be added. Though an autonomous 
entity and geographically separate, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice has 
been an integral part of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation since 1976, when 
Peggy bequeathed her art collection and the palazzo that houses it to the New York- 
based institution. Comprised of over three hundred objects, the collection is 
renowned for its wealth of Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract masterpieces. Peggy Gug- 
genheim's sensitivity to stylistic currents overlooked by her uncle Solomon — namely 
Surrealism and early postwar American gestural painting — resulted in a collection 
rich in genres that are absent from the New York museum's holdings. When consi- 
dered in concert, these two collections form a bicontinental entity that begins to trace 
the complex and multivalent history of twentieth-century art. 

Peggy Guggenheim was always considered something of a renegade, escaping to Europe 
when her family had emigrated from there a generation earlier. Wealthy, high-spirited 
and rebellious, she sought adventure and excitement while the majority of the Gug- 




Model of Gwathemy Siegel addition 

for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1987 



genheims were investing money and building empires. At the age of forty Peggy discov- 
ered a vocation for which she was well suited: art patronage. In January of 1938 she 
opened the Guggenheim Jeune gallery in London with the intellectual and artistic sup- 
port of her friends and colleagues Marcel Duchamp and Samuel Beckett. Her opening 
exhibition featured the work of Jean Cocteau; subsequent shows included presenta- 
tions devoted to Kandinsky and the Surrealist painter Yves Tanguy. 
In March of 1939 Peggy decided to abandon her ownership of the gallery in order 
to found a museum of modern art. She asked the art historian and critic Herbert Read 
to be its director, and together they drew up a list of the painters and sculptors whose 
representation would create an accurate portrait of twentieth-century art. Using this 
list, which was revised by Duchamp and Nellie van Doesburg, Peggy formed the core 
of her personal collection. While eventually relinquishing plans for a museum because 
of the impending war, lack of physical quarters and a diminishment of interest on her 
part, Peggy continued to purchase paintings and sculptures in France until she was 
forced to flee Europe as Hitler's troops approached Paris. Her motto at that time was 
"Buy a picture a day" and, according to her autobiography Out of This Century, she 
lived up to it, adding Brancusi's Maiastra, 1912?, and Bird in Space, 1932-40, Gia- 
cometti's Woman with her Throat Cut, 1932, and works by Victor Brauner, Salvador 
Dalf, Jean Helion, Man Ray and Leger to her collection before leaving France. 
Upon her return to the United States during the war, Peggy opened a museum/gallery 
devoted exclusively to modern art on 57th Street in New York City in 1942. The 
gallery, Art of This Century, was designed by the architect Kiesler in the most ex- 
perimental manner. Preceding her uncle Solomon by one year, Peggy commissioned 
a museum environment that became known as a work of art itself. "Kiesler had really 
created a wonderful gallery — very theatrical and extremely original," she wrote in 
her autobiography. 

"Nothing like it had ever existed before. If the pictures suffered from the fact that 
their setting was too spectacular and took people's attention away from them, it was 
at least a marvelous decor and created a terrific stir." 9 Peggy's description of the 
gallery interior vividly recalls this phenomenal environment: "The Surrealist Gallery 
had curved walls made of gum wood. The unframed paintings mounted on baseball 
bats, which could be tilted, at any angle, protruded about a foot from the walls. Each 
one had its own spotlight. The lights went on and off every three seconds ... first 
lighting one half of the gallery and then the other. In the Abstract and Cubist Gallery 
... two walls consisted of an ultramarine curtain which curved around the room with 
a wonderful sweep and resembled a circus tent. The paintings hung at right angles 
to it from strings. In the center of the room the paintings were clustered in triangles, 
hanging on strings as if they were floating in space. Little triangular wooden platforms 
holding sculptures were also suspended in this manner." 20 

On the opening night of the gallery, October 20, 1942, Peggy wore one earring made 
by Tanguy and another by Alexander Calder to prove her impartiality concerning Sur- 
realism and Abstraction. In addition to providing her New York audience with the 
finest examples of European modern art — as did Pierre Matisse and Julien Levy con- 
temporaneously — Peggy exhibited works by then little-known American painters, 
whose automatic, expressionist style had been inspired by Surrealism: Robert 
Motherwell, William Baziotes, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Jackson Pollock, a 
"discovery" of Peggy's, was given his first one-man exhibition at the Art of This Cen- 
tury in late 1943. In 1950 Peggy organized the first Pollock show held in Europe in 
the Sala Napoleonica of Venice's Correr Museum. About the exhibition, she ex- 
plained: "It was always lit at night, and I remember the extreme joy I had sitting in 
the Piazza San Marco beholding the Pollocks glowing through the open windows of 
the Museum.... It seemed to place Pollock historically where he belonged, as one of 
the greatest painters of our time...." 21 

In 1947, after the war and the breakup of her marriage to Max Ernst, Peggy returned 
to Europe where her personal collection was exhibited at the 1948 Venice Biennale 
and subsequently at the Strozzina in Florence and the Palazzo Reale in Milan. Deeply 
attracted to Venice, Peggy purchased the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, an uncompleted, 
one-story, eighteenth-century palace designed by Lorenzo Boschetti to be the widest 
structure on the Grand Canal. In 1949 she opened her collection, installed through- 



27 



28 , 




Peggy Guggenheim and Jackson Pollock in 
front of a painting by the artist 



out the Palazzo, to the public. Peggy presided over this private museum until her 
death in 1979. 

In 1982 a significant exhibition held at the Campidoglio in Rome united, for the first 
time, examples of non-objective, Cubist, Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist art 
from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
in celebration of Peggy's bequest. While this show attested to the remarkable compre- 
hensiveness of the combined collections, it also demonstrated the truly international 
profile of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. A reciprocal joint exhibition of 
both Guggenheim collections took place in late 1988 on the occasion of the celebra- 
tion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum. Numerous works from 
the Peggy Guggenheim Collection came to New York. 

With the end of the twentieth century, art museums and cultural institutions 
throughout the world are facing a crisis of definition. The Guggenheim Museum, like 
many other museums in the United States and Europe, will face critical decisions 
about the shape of its own future. It must assess its capacity to continue to collect 
and its capacity to fulfill the principal functions of stewardship and preservation that 
are central to its mission. Indications of the direction that this institution will take 
in the coming years are found in the events of its recent past. 
Perhaps the most significant development during the 1980s affecting the future 
course of the Guggenheim Foundation has been the steady transformation of the Peg- 
gy Guggenheim Collection from a purely private collection housed in an unfinished 
Venetian palazzo to a modern art museum operating in accordance with the most ad- 
vanced professional standards of museum operation. Under the direction of Thomas 
Messer, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and its home, the Palazzo Venier dei Leo- 
ni, were stabilized and reoriented through the introduction of sophisticated systems 
of inventory, research and climate control. As physical improvements were realized 
in the Palazzo, a professional museum staff was developed, and a full year-long pro- 
gram of exhibitions was introduced. These changes helped turn the Peggy Guggen- 
heim Collection into one of Venice's most important cultural attractions, drawing 
more than 175,000 visitors a year to its relatively modest display spaces. 
It was with these changes in scope and program in Venice, by the end of the 1980s, 
that the Guggenheim Foundation was able to recognize more clearly the potential of 
a fully integrated international institution with one collection situated in two loca- 
tions. Even as the two branches of the Guggenheim were developing their individual 
programs during the decade of the 1980s, it became increasingly apparent neither 
could realize its institutional objectives in isolation from the other. Two separate in- 
stitutions under one director and Board of Trustees made little practical sense. The 
respective curatorial and administrative staffs often overlapped as the collections 
came increasingly to complement one another and exchanges, loans and exhibitions 
interconnected to a significant degree. Despite the progress at forging a closer work- 
ing relationship between the two institutions, it became clear, however, that the fun- 
damental barrier to fully realizing the potential of one museum on two continents was 
the lack of sufficient space in Venice. With approximately one tenth the space of the 
Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection was not in a 
position to function as a full partner to the Museum in New York, and thereby gener- 
ate economies of operation and the benefits of collections utilization that could result 
from a single curatorial group, a joint administration and a common program and col- 
lection. Venice was simply not large enough to take on parts of the collection based 
in New York or host any of the exhibitions that were designed for spaces with larger 
scale. The logical course, therefore, was to plan an expansion in Venice that would 
enable it to participate more successfully in the overall Guggenheim Foundation 
program. 

With the changes in the Museum administration in 1988, the Board of Trustees be- 
gan to discern that the objectives and requirements of the Peggy Guggenheim Collec- 
tion were beginning to merge with those of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. 
Construction on the New York expansion and renovation program began that year, 
and with it the unfortunate realization that the project as it was designed would not, 
ultimately, satisfy the needs of the collection in New York or meet the long-term ob- 
jectives of the Foundation. The controversial expansion in New York — which pro- 




Peggy Guggenheim Collection 
Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice 



vides for significantly more on-site exhibition space for the permanent collection at 
the Fifth Avenue location, and a newly refurbished storage and conservation facility 
on West 47th Street to meet the exacting non-display requirements of the collection 
— will be completed in the autumn of 1991. But because of various reductions in pro- 
gram to accommodate political and financial realities in New York City, it will not 
be able to satisfy the programmatic requirements of the collection that were so care- 
fully articulated when the planning process was begun almost a decade ago. It was 
clear to the Board that the mission of the Foundation to collect, conserve, present 
and educate with respect to twentieth-century and contemporary art would still be 
constrained. Not surprisingly, then, attention began to focus on Venice. If space 
could be found in Venice, the thinking went, approximate if not adjacent to the Palaz- 
zo Venier dei Leoni, then several prime objectives would be achieved: more of the 
New York collection could be shown in Venice, and vice versa; special exhibitions de- 
veloped for and presented in New York could also be shown in Venice; and the objec- 
tive of an international institution would move closer to becoming a practical reality. 
Powerful incentives and pressures aligned with this developing strategy. In Venice, 
on a local level, the success of Palazzo Grassi and the Biennale signaled a growing in- 
terest in and demand for modern and contemporary art. Internationally, the ex- 
hilarating if still problematic easing of cold-war tensions, and the movements on every 
front toward social and economic cooperation, suggested that international cultural 
cooperation, with great potential for the innovative deployment of cultural resources, 
would become a crucial and creative element of cultural exchange during the last de- 
cade of the century and beyond. 

On an institutional level, the Guggenheim Foundation's acquisition in early 1990 of 
the Panza di Biumo Collection confirmed its position as one of the leading museums 
in the world for art of the entire twentieth century. As one of the great private collec- 
tions defining the aesthetic identity of the Guggenheim, the Panza di Biumo Collec- 
tion gives the museum post-war depth and quality to match the strength of its pre-war 
holdings. Taken together these forces and developments suggested the compelling 
logic of an expanded Guggenheim presence in Europe. With a base already in Italy, 
Venice was, of course, the natural choice. 

And one particular location — the old customs house at the end of the Grand Canal, 
the Punta della Dogana — was the natural site. Informal discussions were begun with 
Antonio Caselatti, the Mayor of Venice, with Palazzo Grassi, with Fondazione Gior- 
gio Cini, and with representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Beni Cul- 
turali e Ambientali and the Ministry of Finance about the suitability of an expanded 
Guggenheim presence in Italy. As the complex process of discussion, presentation and 
negotiation for an additional site in Venice began, a new opportunity in Europe sur- 
faced for the Guggenheim in July of 1988. Peter Lawson-Johnston, the President of 
the Guggenheim Foundation, was approached by private citizens from Salzburg about 
the possibility of establishing a Guggenheim Museum in their city. At first, the notion 
of yet another site for the Guggenheim seemed completely unrealistic. Salzburg's size, 
its relative proximity to Venice, and its strong identity as a center of music, not to 
mention the city's distinctly baroque architectural character, all seemed to argue 
against this proposal, despite the general inclination of the Guggenheim Foundation 
to consider international development. In the year that followed, despite steady and 
increasing attention from the Austrians, the Guggenheim resisted seriously consider- 
ing the Salzburg proposal. The catalytic event that changed that thinking, however, 
was the extraordinary architectural proposal of Hans Hollein for a museum in the 
Monchsberg. Originally conceived as a project for the Museum Carolino Augustium, 
the Hollein proposal for a major museum was the winner of an international competi- 
tion sponsored by the city. 

The extraordinary appeal of Hollein's project rested with his challenge to traditional 
thinking about contemporary architecture and museums of modern and contemporary 
art. Parallels to the Frank Lloyd Wright building, not necessarily in aspects or ele- 
ments of design, but in the fundamental radicality of the approach to museum ar- 
chitecture, became immediately apparent. The brilliance of the Hollein proposal for 
an underground museum is found first of all in its absolute compatibility with the ex- 
isting architecture of Salzburg. What could be more perfectly postmodern than a 



29 




Interior view of Hans Hollein 
model for museum in Salzburg 



30 




Aerial view nf Hans Hollein 
model for museum in Salzburg 




building with no facade, an exterior completely at one with its environment in its ab- 
solute invisibility, and yet at the same time a wonderfully exuberant and essentially 
conservative exhibition space? Perhaps the most subtle and fundamental aspect of 
this project, the feature that separates it most from the usual exercise in contemporary 
museum architecture, is Hollein's segregation of the two principal and often con- 
tradictory functions of museum architecture. On the one hand, the museum building 
must attract and impress a public audience with the quality of its conceptual design; 
on the other, it must subordinate the architecture to the art, to fulfill the function 
that was its original authorization as space for the display of art. In this project, 
Hollein accomplishes a unique and difficult duality — one that has proved elusive to 
most modern museum commissions. Specifically, he takes advantage of the special cir- 
cumstances and composition of the Monchsberg by scooping out of the heart of the 
rock a towering and dramatic central atrium and placing over it, at ground level from 
the top of the plateau, a vast skylight. The result may well turn out to be one of the 
most spectacular interior spaces ever created. Yet the negative-space characteristic of 
the galleries hollowed from the rock and adjacent to the atrium demand a certain 
austerity that may be entirely appropriate and hospitable to the display of works of 
art within. 

As a commentary on architecture, the Hollein project is, in a sense, simultaneously 
both the opposite and the complement of the Frank Lloyd Wright building in New 
York. As difficult as the Wright building reputedly has been for the art that has been 
displayed within it, the building nevertheless is far more than the aggressive strength 
of its architecture, and is remarkably hospitable to certain experiences of the artistic 
object. Sculpture in particular has been shown to considerable advantage in the "post- 
neutral space" environment of the Guggenheim, as the Joseph Beuys, Richard Long 
and Mario Merz exhibitions of the past decade have so elegantly testified. As a dis- 
course on twentieth-century values — which are so closely linked to the art and cul- 
ture of the period — the Wright building itself is an extraordinary work of art. The 
notions, therefore, of architectural quality and architectural adventure are attitudes 
that have been associated with the Guggenheim since its inception. These attitudes 
are similarly found in Hollein's proposal for a museum in the rock. 
Since the spring of 1989, the Guggenheim Foundation has played a role in the de- 
velopment of a feasibility study of the Salzburg project. The Guggenheim was attract- 
ed by the architecture, but perhaps more important, by the possibilities inherent in 
the architecture that would enable the Guggenheim to fullfill its mission to collect 
and present twentieth-century art of the highest possible quality to the widest possi- 
ble audience. The success of the project in Salzburg, as well as the plans for Venice, 
will depend in large part on the degree of public enthusiasm in Italy and Austria for 
twentieth-century and contemporary art, for architectural adventure, and for an alli- 
ance with a private cultural foundation from the United States. The Guggenheim's 
commitment to these projects reflects its history, its traditions, the breadth of its col- 
lections and its dedication to cultural excellence. These projects frame the Guggen- 
heim Foundation's perception of its own future. The exhibition of masterpieces 
documented in this catalogue suggests the strength and quality of the Guggenheim 
collections. It is also intended to signal both the seriousness and the promise of the 
Guggenheim enterprise. 



Mario Mcrz exhibition, 1989 




The Gwathemy Siegel addition under construction, 1990 



Notes 

III. Rebay, "Definition of Non-Objective Painting,'' in Catalogue of the Salomon K ( ,uggenheim Collection oj Son 

Objective Painting, exb. cat., Charleston, South Carolina, 1936, p. 12. 

2. Charter of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, June 25, 1937. 

3. "An Organic Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy," The Sir George Watson Lectures of the Sulgrave 
Manor Board for 1939. The text of four lectures delivered by Wright at the Royal Institute of British Architects 
in May 1939. Excerpted in F. L. Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and liuildings, selected by E. Kaufmann and 
B. Raeburn, New York, London and Scarborough, Ontario, 1974, p. 278. 

4. Letter dated June 1 , 1943, in F. L. Wright, The Guggenheim Correspondence , selected by B. B. Pfeiffer, Carbondale 
and Edwardsville, Illinois, 1986, p. 4. 

5. Letter dated January 20, 1944 in The Hilla von Rebay Foundation Archives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York. 

6. J. T. Soby, "Resurrection of a Museum," Saturday Review, April 4, 1953, p. 69. 

7. Letter dated April 3, 1952 in F. L. Wright, Letters to Architects, selected by B. B. Pfeiffer, Fresno, California, 
1984, p. 152. 

8. Quotations are from Aline B. Saarinen, "Lively Gallery for Living Art," The New York Times Magazine, May 30, 
1954, p. 16. The initial critical article, "Museum in a Query," appeared in the The New York Times, April 22, 1951. 

9. Quoted in "Museum Changing Exhibition Policy," The New York Times, August 5, 1951. Saarinen's criticism of 
the Museum is documented in Toni Ramona Beauchamp, James Johnson Sweeney and The Museum of Fine Arts, 
Houston: 1961-1967, Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1983. 

10. Beauchamp, p. 62. 

11. Aline B. Louchheim, "A Museum Takes on a New life," The New York Times, March 1, 1953. 

12. Quoted in Dore Ashton, "Museum Prospect: Director of Guggenheim Discusses his Plans," The New York Times, 
November 18, 1956. This approach is relatively uncommon today among art-historically oriented curators, who 
respond to the call for social contextualization while avoiding formal analysis. Recently, however, Germano Celant, 
the Guggenheim's Curator of Contemporary Art, installed the Mario Men retrospective in a completely nonlinear 
fashion, accentuating visual contrasts and complements rather than defining chronological development, a practice 
suggested by the implicitly synchronic quality of Merz's production. 

13. Guggenheim Correspondence, p. 234. 

14. Letter dated July 15, 1958, ibid., pp. 269-70. 

15. Ibid., p. 248. 

16. Saarinen, "Lively Gallery for Living Art," p. 16. 

17. Quoted by Peter Blake in "The Guggenheim: Museum or Monument?," Architectural Forum, December 1959; 
Ada Louis Huxtable, "That Museum: Wright or Wrong?" The New York Times, October 25, 1959. Both cited in 
Beauchamp, p. 68. 

18. Letter dated May 16, 1963, in Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, New York. 

19. P. Guggenheim, Out of This Century: Confessions of an Art Addict, New York, 1979, p. 274. 

20. Ibid., p. 229. 

21. Quoted in J. Davis, The Guggenheims (1848-1988): An American Epic, New York, 1988, pp. 370-71. 



31 



/ Ltcht Legacies of Enthusiasm 



The teaching impulse behind art collecting stands in a highly contradictory relation- 
ship to the teaching impulse of art. As long as art has a didactic purpose it is not col- 
lected. It is only when the memorial relief, the altarpiece, the idol or heroic portrait 
loses its historical, religious or dynastic meaning that it becomes prized by collectors 
of art. Only when the Portinari triptych lost its devotional function did it become 
one of the jewels in the crown of the Medici collections. 

Enhancing one's own and one's family name became an increasingly important incen- 
tive to collecting during and after the late sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. 
The minor nobility first, then the successful commoners who rose to prominence 
through financial acumen, such as Jabach, collected on a large scale to give luster to 
their otherwise undistinguished names. At the same time, a small but very serious 
band of connoisseurs began to collect art for the sheer delight of surrounding them- 
selves with beautiful things. Very rarely were social pretense and deep love of art com- 
bined in equal proportions to create important collections. Cardinal Mazarin is the 
most famous case in point. 

The teaching aspect of art collections was, for the most part, secondary. Collections 

such as those of the Medici, of Archduke Leopold or of Philip II served to delight 

i2 the owner's eye and to increase his cultural prestige as well as his political splendor. 

If a collection served a teaching purpose at all, as was the case of the Papal collections 
deposited in the Capitoline Museum in the sixteenth century, this purpose was at- 
tached to the fields of Roman history and the study of antiquity. The use of ancient 
sculpture for the teaching of art belongs to the later development of art academies, 
and for this function plaster casts, copies and pastiches were substituted for the col- 
lection of originals. 

The Enlightenment, with its almost fanatic faith in teaching as the primary source 
of human salvation, brought deep changes to the meaning and purpose of collecting. 
Because of Winckelmann's theories, the contemplation of beauty was considered a 
beneficial end in itself. The virtues inherent in the work of art could be transferred 
by intelligent and sensitive contemplation to the beholder. The museum as an institu- 
tion for the spiritual uplift of the masses was born. 

Belief in the didactic purpose of art was given a more practical turn in the nineteenth 
and twentieth centuries. The Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musee du Cinquan- 
tenaire, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs and the Museum of the Rhode Island School 
of Design were all originally dedicated to the idea that industrial products could be 
given greater marketability if they were designed in accordance with the aesthetic 
principles of earlier art. There was also a political purpose to be considered. Art as 
a lesson in patriotism, in national pride, was not overlooked by the great museums 
and private collectors of modern times. Napoleon's institution of the Louvre was in- 
spired almost entirely by such ideas. The aggressive buying of art to prove that na- 
tions newly arrived at power could rival older and more venerable national cultures 
was certainly a paramount factor in the rapid building up of the Kaiser Friedrich 
Museum in Berlin and probably also played a conspicuous role in the founding of the 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 
The most striking example of such nationalistically inclined museums is the Musee 
des Beaux-Arts at Strasbourg. When Germany annexed Alsace after the Franco- 
Prussian War, Wilhelm von Bode, one of the most dynamic and imaginative museum 
directors of the time, was given the official duty of enriching the holdings of the 
Strasbourg museum with generous gifts from the imperial collections and with much- 
advertised purchases. In Italy, where the government was too poor to finance new art 
museums, a slightly different kind of museum, equally committed to increasing civic 
and national pride, came into being. The Poldi Pezzoli collection was left to the city 
of Milan with just such a purpose. Its example was to have tremendously important 



consequences. Not only did rich industrialists and magnates endow similar institu- 
tions in Italy, but also the young Isabella Stewart Gardner was so impressed by the 
beauty and munificence of the Museo Poldi Pezzoli when she visited Milan that she 
determined on the spot to devote herself to a parallel undertaking, thus importing to 
America an ideal of cultural philanthropy that was destined to flourish as nowhere 
else in the world. A listing of the private collections in America that became public 
museums, as distinct from private American collections that were incorporated into 
already extant museums, would fill a fairly thick booklet. In such a booklet, the Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection 
in Venice would certainly have a distinguished position.. 

All of the usual motivations for collecting and donating art are traceable in the build- 
ing of both the Peggy and the Solomon Guggenheim collections. It is possible that 
both uncle and niece turned their attention to this form of beneficence in order to 
detach themselves from the more conventional Jewish forms of philanthropy (hospi- 
tals, universities) for which many of the other branches of the Guggenheim family 
had acquired an enviable reputation. Be that as it may, it is certain that for all their 
difference in attitude toward art, toward collecting and toward philanthropy, niece 
and uncle did have one deeply emotional and traditional purpose in common: both 
of them respected learning, scholarship and intellectual discipline. Both of them in- 
tended their collections to be a source of learning. Both of them achieved their goal 
in very different but complementary ways. 

The collection built by Hilla Rebay and Solomon Guggenheim was, in many ways, austerely 
missionary and demanded something close to devotional attitudes of the visitor. Of the 
three public, non-commercial centers of twentieth-century art available in New York dur- 
ing the last years of the thirties and throughout the forties, the Solomon Guggenheim 33 
Collection rebaptized the Museum of Non-Objective Painting was by far the most challeng- 
ing. The Whitney, then still on Eighth Street, had a wonderfully "take it or leave it" 
atmosphere which was very comfortable and welcoming. No matter what your tastes were, 
you could always be sure of finding something to enjoy. The publications amounted to 
little more than checklists of special exhibitions, but one did learn a good deal from the 
casual discussions that arose spontaneously among the visitors and that could often lead 
to lifelong friendships. The Museum of Modern Art belonged socially to quite a differ- 
ent world. One didn't simply drop in as one did at the Whitney, and the atmosphere 
was far more sedate. Here, too, there was something for everybody, but one could 
also be sure of finding the classic milestones of modern art in their accustomed places 
time after time, so that acquaintance with all that was qualitatively and historically 
significant could be slowly and carefully absorbed over a long period of time. The 
Museum's publications were by far the best of their kind to be found anywhere, and 
the library, though used by a comparatively minute number of people, was a definite 
presence. Where the Whitney was egalitarian, The Museum of Modern Art had its 
social hierarchies. Membership, which entitled one to make use of Museum facilities 
ostentatiously off-limits to the general public, was the big social watershed, but there 
were many subtler gradations that were perfectly obvious even to the neophyte. 
The Museum of Non-Objective Painting was of an entirely different order from its 
sister institutions. It recognized none of the social and intellectual differences that 
were taken as a matter of course at The Museum of Modern Art, nor did it coun- 
tenance the rough-and-tumble camaraderie of the Whitney. Artist or grande dame, 
high-school student or respected author, timid tourist from, the Midwest or snobbish 
gallery assistant from Fifty-seventh Street, all were bound by a common denominator: 
an intuitive but nonetheless unshakable belief that all the arts were a glorious and 
ever-open portal to the impalpable realm that made terrestrial existence worthwhile. 
Intellectual pursuits, so important for The Museum of Modern Art, were secondary 
here, although one was expected either to bring them along already formed or to culti- 
vate them outside the confines of the museum. What was entirely absent compared 
to The Museum of Modern Art was the entertainment element. One might go to The 
Museum of Modern Art to fill a restless afternoon or to spend a couple of hours be- 
tween midtown appointments. That sort of thing was unthinkable in the case of 
Museum of Non-Objective Painting. One went there in recognition of a need for 
something that can only be described as communion. It would be wrong to think of 




34 



Peggy Guggenheim photographed 
by Man Ray 



the Museum of Non-Objective Painting as an aloof, cult-ridden place. It wasn't that 
at all. It was just very definitely a place apart. One never was aware, as one constantly 
was at the Modern, of being in the midst of a big city. When one stepped inside the 
Museum of Non-Objective Painting, one left Manhattan behind. Nobody ever 
glanced at his watch, and only a very few visitors took notes or wandered attentively 
from picture to picture. More usually, one went to one or two rooms that one had 
decided on beforehand, to satisfy a recognized need. 

What was most striking, aside from the homogeneity and qualitatively superb level 
of the collection, was its installation. Irregular hangings, deliberate asymmetries of 
placement, syncopated light effects were certainly no novelty in New York. Commer- 
cial galleries used such methods and the Modern was nothing if not masterful in mak- 
ing its installations lively. The difference was in the intent. At the Whitney, for in- 
stance, disparities of hanging were either the outcome of the Museum's very limited 
technical equipment or of its slightly slapdash way with art which was pleasantly 
reminiscent of the helter-skelter of an artist's studio. At the Modern, installations 
were always deliberately instructive and deliberately appealing. One was immediately 
aware of those objects that, according to the taste of the curator, were of special sig- 
nificance. There was also something that smacked of publicity. Everything had been 
done to make one enjoy the exhibition, to carry away a pleasant memory that would 
induce one to come again. At the Non-Objective, the light was far more even, and 
if an occasional Kandinsky was shown not hanging on the wall but standing on the 
floor, its idiosyncratic placement was not the result of a desire to break the monotony, 
to astound one or to humor one. Instead, the eccentricity of display was meant to 
shock one into awareness of the painting as something completely autonomous. It 
wasn't one of a series of pictures on a wall. It had no predecessors or successors, no 
past and no future. It was all there when you looked at it. Goethe had said of Win- 
ckelmann's writings: "Reading Winckelmann one doesn't learn anything. But one be- 
comes something." Hilla Rebay stood in the same arch-Romantic tradition as Goethe 
and Winckelmann. Intellectual perception, historical knowledge, technical informa- 
tion and the social obligation of art were all subsumed in a grand synthesis of aware- 
ness that approached a mystic condition. 

The distinctions among these three centers of modern art in New York are more than 
a nostalgic memory. They created conditions peculiar to New York during the de- 
cades in which American art gradually became conscious of its tradition, of its identi- 
ty and of its potential prowess. The multiplicity of approach, the liberality permitted 
by widely divergent views of what constituted modern art, of how one acquainted 
oneself with it, of how its purposes and its future could be furthered gave New York 
a character of its own. When Sir John Pope-Hennessy repeatedly insists that the New 
York public is more teachable than the public in London, the difference he notes may 
very well be ascribed to the impact that was made by the controversial and sometimes 
even antagonistic relationship that linked the Whitney, the Modern and the Non- 
Objective. Their points of view were widely divergent, some being private, others 
corporate. Yet they had a common purpose: to educate all comers. 
Peggy Guggenheim's gallery Art of This Century had from its inception in Paris and 
London been dedicated to the same end. She and her mentor, Sir Herbert Read, as- 
sembled the collection not according to any particular taste nor according to any par- 
ticular ideal but in order to document the major currents and conquests of twentieth- 
century art. For all of Peggy's wilfulness (as in the case of queens, it is best to refer 
to her by her first name), she was quite austere and self-denying when it came to her 
collection. Personally, for instance, she loved Matisse above all living artists. But she 
never allowed herself to buy one of his works because she saw in him an artist who 
continued to develop visual, aesthetic and intellectual themes of the nineteenth centu- 
ry, whereas her collection was meant to document and define specifically twentieth- 
century art. 

From the moment of its clamorous New York opening, Art of This Century became 
the city's fourth focal point of modern art, joining the ranks of The Museum of 
Modern Art, the Museum of Non-Objective Painting and the Whitney Museum of 
American Art. Its distinction among its three towering rivals lay in the character of 
its originator. Canny and prudent realism combined with an exuberant willingness to 



give everything a try were hallmarks of her personality and determined the unique 
atmosphere of Art of This Century. For all their varied modes of presentation, the 
three major museums of twentieth-century art in New York were nevertheless muse- 
ums, and museums are bound to resemble each other. Peggy, in her anarchic and 
thoroughly American way, detested categories, and consequently Art of This Century 
did not fit any known description of art institutions. It was a highly sophisticated col- 
lection but it was also a crass, though never very successful, commercial venture (Hilla 
Rebay found the combination very distasteful and accused Peggy, who gloried in the 
fact that her great-grandfather had been an itinerant peddler, of dragging the Gug- 
genheim name in the mud of financial enterprise.) 

The double function of commercial gallery and museum, however, did not exhaust 
Art of This Century's multiplicity. It was also a New York equivalent of the Parisian 
Salon, just as it became, on occasion, a rowdy battlefield for young artists. Frederick 
Kiesler, unheedful of Peggy's frequent cries of financial alarm, had created a radically 
new architectural setting for the collection as different from the well-lit, airy galleries 
of a museum as a Luna Park tunnel-of-love is from the Parc-aux-cerfs. The effect was 
explosive and added a note of Rabelasian humor to the art scene that didn't in any 
way detract from the gallery's serious didactic purpose. 

Its walls, in flat contradiction to our normal perception of the world in perpendicular 
coordinates, curved and held paintings in a state of levitation. Wheel-shaped contrap- 
tions activated by levers snapped smaller paintings and drawings into viewing win- 
dows with a magic, disembodied effect. Pedestals could serve as chairs on which one 
was invited to sit to admire the displays. These chair-pedestals predicted Manzoni's 
Magic Pedestals of the seventies (pedestals that visitors are invited to mount in order 
to be transformed into instant sculpture), just as Kiesler's curved walls predicted 35 
Frank Lloyd Wright's sovereign disregard for perpendiculars in the Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Museum. 

Most important of all was the sense one received of work in progress. Though the 
Picassos, the Miros, the Brancusis and the Ernsts on permanent display were treated 
rather differently from the paintings and sculptures of younger artists offered in the 
temporary exhibition galleries of Art of This Century, one was never persuaded that 
these masters were classics beyond the reach of discussion, of criticism or of further 
development. Even the Whitney, with its relatively helter-skelter attitude, presented 
paintings and sculptures in a way that marked them quite definitely as completed 
statements in themselves. The notorious museum solemnity was utterly absent from 
Art of This Century. Continuity of discourse and a wonderfully non-European will- 
ingness to take everyone and everything on his or its own merits were the keynotes 
here. Gertrude Stein, in one of her most renowned aphorisms, supposedly told Alfred 
Barr that he could either have modern art or he could have a museum but that he 
couldn't have both. As valiantly and often successfully as Barr strove against Stein's 
dictum, it was really Art of This Century and not The Museum of Modern Art that 
resolved the situation by means of its peculiar alchemy. 

Art of This Century's answer to Gertrude Stein's warning lay in its abolition of all 
categories. It had its museum aspects concentrated in a superb permanent collection 
to which additions were made constantly. But it had no museum organization and no 
museum responsibilities. Free enterprise in its ideal meaning had never manifested it- 
self in the art world with such vehemence. 

At The Museum of Modern Art one could certainly get a more generous view of the 
past and the present of modern art. Art of This Century compensated for its lack of 
completeness by adding an intimation of the future. It wasn't so much that, with the 
wisdom of hindsight, we now realize that the future actually was being forged in the 
temporary exhibitions of Pollock, Baziotes or Still, among others. It was an expectan- 
cy of unforeseen and unforeseeable surprises that gave extra zest to the acknowledged 
classics of Peggy's collection as well as to the works of unknown avant-garde artists 
exhibited in the other galleries. 

Art of This Century projected confidence and high spirits. It offered a terrain on 
which established European artists could meet younger Americans without the for- 
mality of a museum setting, and it taught all of New York that enjoyment and art 
were thoroughly compatible. 



36 



Art of This Century, Peggy Guggenheim's Gallery 
in New York (photo Berenice Abbott) 




Though it is fairly easy to explain the ideological differences between the two Gug- 
genheim collections and the exhibition principles that governed Art of This Century 
and the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, it is far more difficult to describe the 
subtle but intense individuality, amounting at times to downright antagonism, that 
distinguished the two collections before they were merged by Peggy's donation. Both 
had their individual advantages, both had very evident weaknesses. In the end, they 
complemented each other to perfection. 

The most obvious divergence of the two collections is closely related to the very 
different characters of the major protagonists, Hilla Rebay and Peggy Guggenheim, 
the former an Americanized European, the latter a Europeanized American, one a 
failed artist, the other without any pretense to artistic creativity, one of a rather 
schoolmarmish temperament, the other inclined to bouts of indulgence, one spending 
someone else's money, the other constantly aware of very real financial responsibili- 
ties. The list could be continued for pages. 1 

The single-minded preoccupation with disembodied ideals in art gave the Solomon R. 
Guggenheim collection its distinctive character and also represented its greatest ob- 
stacle. Looked at in historical perspective, Hilla Rebay's demand for "spirituality" 
in art goes back to the powerful tradition of Kant, Hegel and, in the arts, German 
Romanticism. German Romantic music has always been welcomed and loved in 
America. Schubert, Schumann and Wagner are household words. Romantic German 
philosophy is a little more restricted in its acceptance, though no American college 
graduate can possibly remain untouched by it. As a literary or artistic tradition, 
however, German Romanticism remains steadfastly alien to American taste to this 
day. It is perfectly possible, and in some circles even desirable, to be a respected 
literary critic without ever having read The Apprentices of Sais, just as among art 
historians and critics, artists such as Friedrich, von Schwind or Carstens are the exclu- 
sive property of a small handful of elite specialists and Feuerbach or Bocklin are 
known primarily as exemplars of everything art should not be. Among the wide art- 
interested public, the development of contemporary art from David via Delacroix, 
Courbet, the Impressionists all the way down to Dubuffet is the very foundation on 
which all appreciation, all judgment rests. The non-French premises of modern art are 
continually ignored. 2 It is a credit to Hilla Rebay's courage that she undertook the 
difficult task of winning America over to an aspect of art that had been consistently 



neglected or derided. If her success was partial it was because the almost fanatical mis- 
sionary bias of her methods blinded her to her own misunderstanding of the Romantic 
tradition and to the patient, preparatory education that was necessary for the Ameri- 
can public. In gallant Romantic fashion, she intended to take the American citadel 
of Gallocentrism by storm. The fundamental meaning and potential of the collection 
she put together, even now in its transmuted and enriched state, remains somewhat 
distinct from the American mainstream of understanding modern art. Hampered by 
a lack of preparation, the American public still singles out for success those Guggen- 
heim exhibitions that are based on the familiar principles of French modern art or 
the accepted belief in Abstract Expressionism as the great watershed. Such exhibi- 
tions as the great show of Hodler's paintings, of Lucio Fontana, or, more recently, 
of contemporary German art have always met with loud protestations. The Guggen- 
heim's importance as representative of aesthetic positions that either contradict or 
alter what has by now become the established genealogy of modern art has not yet 
been fully realized. It remains a museum with a destiny. 

Hilla Rebay's inability to comprehend the extent and the force of American resistance 
to the principles that she wished to inculcate was compensated for by her headstrong idi- 
osyncrasy which continued to play a part in the choices made by later Guggenheim direc- 
tors. Fierce independence and a willingness to take risks have always given the museum 
its special appeal. Unfortunately, Hilla Rebay's refusal to institute the kind of education- 
al campaign that other museums pursued in their publications as well as in their collateral 
programs also continued after her resignation from the directorship. It is in this direction 
that the Guggenheim might gather increased honors in the years to come. 
The other of Hilla Rebay's shortcomings (minor and correctable shortcomings when 
compared with the enormous scale of her success) was her very narrow interpretation 37 
of "spirituality." Being a zealous disciple of Kandinsky, it was the musical pole of 
romantic painting that attracted her above all others. The emotional workings of color 
on the soul, 3 the rhythmic beat of linear sequences, the mysterious space-intervals 
created by tensions of divergent forms stood at the center of her artistic decalogue. 
She was a priestess of purity, of the disembodied response to impalpable vibrations 
emitted by a select number of men and women endowed with the gift of bringing 
mankind in contact with the ultimate sum of human aspirations, toward grace and 
eternity. Music and the two-dimensional (and consequently otherworldly) art of paint- 
ing could express her ideals. Sculpture was a considerably tougher problem, and with 
admirable consistency but disputable reasoning, she banished this medium from her 
field of activity. 

Given her staunch seriousness, it is odd that the one sculptor who gave her pause, 
and on whose work she was willing to compromise, was Alexander Calder. Whether 
it was the ethereal quality of Calder's mobiles or the irresistible and innocent spell 
he cast on all who knew him is hard to say. As for Brancusi, she could understand 
why he was so highly praised without being able to join the band of his supporters. 
The sensuous and adamantly physical presence of his sculptures distressed her. 
On her own territory, however, she was without peer. The paintings she acquired for 
the museum and for her own collection could scarcely be excelled. Later directors 
broadened the collection by rescinding her interdict against sculpture and figural 
painting, by extending the Expressionist holdings and above all by convincing the 
Thannhausers to make their epochal donation. But one standard set by Hilla Rebay 
was never changed by any of her successors: the quality and historical importance of 
works admitted to the holdings had to match her immensely discriminating demands. 
There may be equally good Picassos, Delaunays, Gleizes or Kandinskys in other muse- 
ums. There are none better. What she had created remained as a permanent touch- 
stone and guide. 

It would be unjust to consider the original collection of the Museum of Non-Objective 
Painting without paying more attention to the influence exerted by Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim himself. His discretion was such that we will never know how and when he 
mitigated or vetoed Hilla Rebay's policies. But there is certainly a sly touch of vendet- 
ta in the choice of Modigliani's Nude and Bonnard's Dining Room on the Garden for 
his own apartment at the Plaza. In all of twentieth-century art there can hardly be 
two more carnally sensuous and sensual paintings. 




Sir Herbert Read and Peggy Guggenheim 
photographed by Gisele Freund 



38 




Screen by Lawrence Vail 



There was nothing of the ascetic devotee about Peggy Guggenheim. The belief in a 
higher mystic law of art that inspired Hilla Rebay made little sense to Peggy. Instead 
of listening with her spiritual ear, Peggy listened in a far more literal sense. Unlike 
her uncle's advisor, whose self-confidence in artistic matters could never be shaken, 
Peggy had the insufficiently appreciated talent of being able to take counsel and of 
choosing her counselors with great wisdom and acumen. It is to her credit, rather than 
being one of her inadequacies, that she was able to seek out the advice of the likes 
of Herbert Read, Marcel Duchamp (and this at a time when Duchamp was by no 
means the universal cult object he is today), Alfred Barr or Nellie van Doesburg. Her 
experience of modern art came to her not in studio classes, as it had to Rebay, but 
in the heady gatherings of the Parisian boheme. Married to Lawrence Vail," the 
young fugitive from uppercrust New York Jewish respectability was hurtled into the 
very epicenter of all the grand, the mediocre or the simply bizarre adventures of 
modern art. She enjoyed the glamorous excitement of her new surroundings but, be- 
ing a sharp observer, she quickly learned to distinguish ephemeral flamboyance from 
enduring talent. It wasn't an easy apprenticeship. She persevered and learned from 
her mistaken judgments without discouragement. Reading between the lines of her 
autobiographies and from conversations, one receives the impression that her failed 
marriage left her with a sense of obligation toward all the insights and critical 
privileges she had gathered during her years with Lawrence Vail. In addition she 
needed to prove to herself that she could maintain her life in the Paris art world 
without tutelage from her husband. She was also militantly dismayed by the neglect, 
ignorance and hostility that contemporary artists had to face. To help them by buying 
their works was the obvious course to take. So obvious and so limited that it couldn't 
satisfy an enterprising spirit such as hers. There is also her deep and enduring respect 
for learning to be taken into consideration. True, she had rebelled against the narrow 
limitations imposed by her orthodox upbringing. One element of this training, 
however, remained with her for the rest of her life: the basic tenet that it is man's 
noblest obligation to enlarge the mind by gathering and assimilating knowledge. The 
decisive friendships and acquaintances of Peggy's life were all characterized by her 
willingness to put herself in a student-teacher relationship. Such personalities as 
Emma Goldman, Herbert Read, Samuel Beckett, Marcel Duchamp and countless crit- 
ics, writers and artists whose names though less well known were equally important 
for her were purposefully sought out by her because she wanted to learn. To the very 
end she kept up stimulating, cordial friendships with such diverse personalities as a 
knowledgeable and farsighted journalist stationed in Belgrade, a Vassar professor of 
poetry, a budding art historian from England and a museum director whose specialties 
were Asiatic art and German Expressionism. As was only natural under the circum- 
stances, there were many peripheral hangers-on, just as there were friendships of a 
sentimental nature that had little to do with her urge to train, enlarge and exercise 
her mind. The lasting, the essential friendships, however, were of a far more intellec- 
tual bent. That her collection, once it was conceived as such, would have to fulfill a 
more important duty than putting a little extra money into the pockets of deserving 
artists was clear from the start. 

The history of her various attempts to establish such a didactic instrument, culminat- 
ing in the epoch-making Art of This Century, has often been described. The scientific 
description of her collection as it presented itself at the time of her death has also 
been recorded in what is one of the finest scholarly catalogues ever published.' An 
analysis of the collection itself, that is to say an analysis of all those characteristics 
that distinguish a collection from a mere accumulation of paintings, is still outstand- 
ing and doubtless will not be accomplished for many years to come. Provisionally, for 
the requirements of the present exhibition catalogue, a sketchy attempt at such an 
analysis might be hazarded. 

Aside from the overt selection principle based on gathering documentation of the 
leading movements of specifically twentieth-century art, the major chord that is 
struck is one of cheerful confidence. Even Surrealism is represented less from its 
menacing than from its vigorously adventurous side. Giacometti's Woman with Her 
Throat Cut, Ernst's Attirement of the Bride or Miro's Seated Woman II are exceptions 
rather than the rule. Youthful sprightliness is the general impression one carries away 



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Max Ernst 



time after time from visits to the collection. It was this positive attitude, also, that 
led Peggy to collect modern sculpture with an enthusiasm rare among her contem- 
poraries. It was the concrete, sensuously satisfying nature of sculpture that appealed 
to her. 

The Brancusis she chose are among his most felicitous works and are quite without 
the demanding, overwhelming power of, say, his King of Kings, whose pathos of tri- 
umph and suffering is inscribed on its mass the way tempests, time and drought might 
leave their signs on an aged tree. Humor, a rare quality in art generally and in sculp- 
ture specifically, was particularly welcome to Peggy's taste. Her "Monsieur" Cactus 
by Gonzales is probably the wittiest work of profoundly serious sculpture created in 
the first half of the twentieth century. No wonder that Arp, the sunniest and most 
innocent of sculptors, is particularly well represented, along with Calder. This does not 
rule out the presence in her collection of less sensuously appealing and more intellectual- 
ly biased sculptures such as Vantongerloo's magnificent Construction with Volumetric 
Interrelationships Derived from the Inscribed Square and the Square Circumscribed by a 
Circle. With its architectural strength and aplomb, this rare example of sculpture by a 
rare artist accords well with the robust taste expressed in the collection as a whole. 
A sense of satisfaction with the beautifully crafted represents another common 
denominator of works in the collection. The hasty and the improvisational are avoid- 
ed. In an effort to compensate for unjustified critical contempt in the past, it has be- 
come unfashionable to mention the fact that many paintings by Jackson Pollock are 
messy. However, Peggy's collection of his works is noteworthy not only for its size 
or for its range but also for the technical perfection of the paintings it includes. Peg- 
gy's collaboration with the master glassblower Egidio Costantini to bring back the 
former glory of Venetian glass expresses a similar predilection. 
Though she was thoroughly sympathetic to the experimental nature of modern art, 
she did make a clear distinction between the tentative and the accomplished experi- 
ment. It is this sensibility that gives the works in the collection a characteristic 
monumentality even when their actual dimensions are relatively small. Leger's Men 
in the City is an obvious case in point. Compared with the standard masterpieces by 
the artist, this painting is small, but in no way does it yield in forceful monumental 
presence to his far bigger or far more highly colored canvases. Much the same can be 
said for the Massons, for Moore's Three Standing Figures or for Severini's 
Sea = Dancer. The group of Picasso paintings is particularly impressive in this respect. 
The enigmatic The Studio, a speculative translation into modern terms of Velazquez's 
Las Meninas, is smaller than most of Picasso's versions of the same theme and yet 
achieves a completeness and an economy of expression that imprint it on one's cons- 
ciousness as a painting of mural dimensions. 

In this connection it is well to remember that Peggy was far more interested in the 
art of the past than is generally thought. Nothing made her happier than to visit 
recondite monuments of Medieval or Renaissance art in the company of experts in 
the field. From this interest she may very well have derived her sense of the "master- 
piece" in its original meaning as a work that represented fully an artist's indepen- 
dence, his having learned all there was to know from the cumulative lore of his craft. 
She was rarely misled into giving way to a taste for the curiosite esthetique. Only when 
it came to lesser artists did she sometimes acquire works that were not up to her 
highest standards. 

When Art of This Century was dissolved, Peggy moved her collection to Venice and 
opened her house to the public. From the beginning it was the non-institutional quality 
that was apparent in her installations. Lighting and hanging both had an improvisation- 
al air that proved especially delightful to tourists worn down by weeks of visiting the 
overwhelming museums of Italy. Accessibility to the works was paramount to her and 
there was hardly any surveillance when judged by modern standards of security. This 
lack of proper exhibition conditions, coupled with her inability to pay for a curatorial 
staff, for proper air conditioning and for all the other services essential to a public col- 
lection, was bound to have its detrimental side. Not all visitors were considerate. Can- 
vases were touched and poked, sculptures accidentally bumped into. There were a sur- 
prisingly few but nevertheless painful thefts. Though the public profited by the infor- 
mality of presentation, the collection as a whole undoubtedly suffered. 



39 



40 




Peggy Guggenheim with the President 
of the Italian Republic Luigi Einaudi 
at the Biennale, 1948 



She had never thought of her collection in terms of its financial worth and grew in- 
creasingly irritated at the changes in attitude that were being wrought by astronomic 
prices on the art market as well as by the degrading way the press sensationalized this 
development. She didn't in the least mind being envied for being rich but she resent- 
ed the notion so many visitors had that the collection was part of her property in the 
pedestrian sense of the word. Spurred by these sentiments and by a dignified and 
quiet acceptance that the greater part of her life lay behind her, she set about thinking 
about the destiny of her collection. 

She loathed shrines. Two friends who thought that her taste for avant-la-lettre Surreal- 
ism would make a visit to D'Annunzio's Vittoriale degli Italiani a welcome excursion 
arranged for her to see it when it was still very much off-limits to all but a very few 
privileged guests. The visit proved a disaster. So shaken was she by the lugubrious 
atmosphere the dead poet had prepared for his memorial that she could not bring her- 
self to so much as speak to her well-intentioned friends for several weeks. When 
negotiations with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum were broached, she made a 
minimum of stipulations among which was the removal of her furniture and an injunc- 
tion against any director living in the palace after her death. The domestic quality of 
the collection's former existence was to cease. Its intimacy would be maintained quite 
naturally by its size and by its setting. Palazzo Venier dei Leoni had been her home. 
Now it was to be the home of all who loved what she herself had so enthusiastically 
enjoyed. 

The Solomon and the Peggy Guggenheim collections, separately at first and now 
jointly, belong among those very rare enterprises that produced the momentum neces- 
sary for narrowing the gap between artist and public, between the moment of creation 
of a work of art and the moment of its appreciation by critics, collectors and art- 
interested public. Because of the effort made by this small handful of museums and 
collectors Gertrude Stein's aphorism about "Museum of Modern Art" being an oxy- 
moron is no longer applicable. Art is no longer created in opposition to what went 
before. The public has also come to look forward to new developments and to enjoy 
the challenges of contemporary art. It may even be that we have gone too far in this 
direction. Certainly, Peggy herself never tired of saying that contemporary art was 
in danger of being loved to death. There is the danger of repeating the circumstances 
of the second half of the nineteenth century when the majority of critics, museums, 
collectors and dealers exalted a certain range of contemporary art to such a degree 
that the complacent public followed in its wake, completely ignoring the most daring 
and ultimately the most enduring work being done at the time. It may be that some 
of the most admired names of our time will prove to be the equivalent of Gerome 
and Helleu and not of Monet or Cezanne. To complicate the question still further, 
we need only recall that artists praised in their own time, Gerome, for example, and 
then derided and forgotten in later decades, are now being rediscovered. Thanks to 
critics, dealers and the establishment of such museums as the Musee d'Orsay they are 
beginning to appear as worthy companions of their more daring contemporaries. Ger- 
trude Stein could not have foreseen that antagonistic works of art could be considered 
equally eloquent or that the revolutionary aspects of early modern art would gradually 
form a tradition of their own so that "museum" and "modern art" would no longer 
be mutually exclusive. At the Guggenheim the Thannhauser gift has extended this 
tradition back toward early Impressionism, while the acquisition of the Panza di Biu- 
mo collection moves the combined Guggenheim museums into what is rightly or 
wrongly called the postmodern era. What once was the audacious institution of the 
Guggenheim's founders has now become the stable center around which both the past 
and the future can be tested. Risk is at the heart of the venture. But as long as the 
present-day Guggenheim pursues its perception of what is most telling in contem- 
porary art with its customary enthusiasm, it will fulfill the vision of its founders and 
benefactors who so emphatically believed in taking risks. 



Notes 

1. The place of women in determining American artistic attitudes has never been fully studied. Roughly it would seem 
that the collecting of blue-chip old masters was primarily in the hands of men (Altman, Widener, Mellon, Kress, Frick, 
Bache, Morgan, Lehman, to name only a few of the prominent), while the more daring forays into the field of modern 
and contemporary art were made primarily by women (Mary Cassatt, {Catherine Dreier, Peggy Guggenheim, Mary 
Reynolds, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Gertrude Stein, Alma Spreckles, Lily P. Bliss). In Europe the involvement 
of women in collecting and furthering modern art was infinitely less significant. Naturally, there were exceptions. 
Albert Gallatin's incomparable collection is a case in point. Nor should one leave out of consideration mavericks such 
as Isabella Stewart Gardner, who collected both old masters and moderns, or important collections bought in tandem 
by husband-and-wife teams (Arensberg, Rupf). 

2. One of the great masterpieces of American scholarship in this field, Robert Rosenblum's The Northern Tradition, 
was met with that deadliest of encomia, the succes d'estime. The Metropolitan made a half-hearted attempt at bringing 
German Romantic painting to the attention of New Yorkers. Its half-heartedness, evident in installation, publicity 
and modest catalogue, made the failure of the show a foregone conclusion. Friedrich's Das grosse Gehege was undoubt- 
edly the great revelation of the Splendor of Dresden exhibition but it was drowned by the show's emphasis on ostenta- 
tious displays of decorative arts. The perspectives needed for a full understanding of artists such as Marc, Kirchner, 
the elder Giacometti or Segantini are still largely missing in America. It has usually been their political bias or their 
coloristic daring that has brought them what acclaim they have been able to find here. By the same token there has 
also been a rather narrow-minded though immensely clamorous acceptance of Abstract Expressionist artists. The im- 
portance of what Rosenblum subsumes as "Northern" sensibility for American art of the late thirties and early forties 
has not yet been properly evaluated. Hans Hofmann is really only the tip of the iceberg. The fruitful love-hate rela- 
tionship between Gorky and John Graham, for instance, was constantly fed by their shifting interpretations of 
Romantic dogma. The catalytic presence of refugee musicians, poets, litterateurs and journalists added to the ferment 
of New York's art scene as did the growing importance of political issues, a concern with which the tradition of 
Romantic painting had always — sometimes to its detriment — been involved. Until there is a more general interest 
in and understanding of non-French Romanticism, such toweringly important artists as Beckmann will remain 
marginal. 

3. Nowhere are the connections between art, mind and soul more concretely expressed than in Rudolf Steiner's the- 
osophical doctrine which influenced the entire range of German intelligentsia during the first third of our century. 
Steiner's attempts to cure or at least palliate disease by means of color environments and his ideas about the equiva- 
lence between psychic surges and physical motion as expressed in eurhythmic dances have their concrete counterparts 
in German and German-influenced art of the time. 

4. Lawrence Vail deserves a higher place in the history of modern art than is generally accorded him. He is among 
the earliest and most successful pioneers of assemblage. His most ambitious extant work, a large tripartite screen in 

the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, reveals him as a highly individual practitioner of collage. His bottles have an im- 41 

pressive pathos. There is in most of them a haunting quality of inanimate matter yearning towards life. Their physical 
delicacy has given them the status of rarefied incunabula. 

5. Angelica Zander Rudenstine, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. New 
York, 1985. 



Maurizio Calvesi The Course of Modern Art 



Excepting a certain few works of more recent date, the period of artistic development 
covered by this exhibition ends with the closing of World War II, or more precisely, 
with the year 1945, a convenient marker between the start of the century and the pre- 
sent. 

In comparing the two periods defined by this division, it would not appear that they 
have the same depth of artistic production. Moreover, they seem markedly different. 
This is not because the second is not derived from the first, but because the first 
spawned certain "lateral" currents — involving "gesture" and a traversing of the limits 
of pictorial space — that can be loosely aligned with Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism. 
Documentation of the origins of these currents is not included in this exhibition primar- 
ily because the "documents" were often deliberately ephemeral ("soirees" and perfor- 
mances) or are now lost (missing texts and objects), and secondarily because the collec- 
tor, Solomon R. Guggenheim, was more inclined toward works that lie well within the 
confines of traditional art -- avant-garde works in terms of their idiom, especially as 
reflecting certain favored and occasionally purist tenets of style, but traditional works in 
terms of their type (i.e. painting and sculpture). 

The resulting collection is a highly select assemblage of all the most innovative and 
42 important formal achievements of the era, providing a panorama of civilization that can 

be easily assigned a datable beginning and end and corresponding to the most authentic 
and orthodox ideals and values of "modernism." We do not refer here to artistic civiliza- 
tion alone. The era of these developments, while touching on our own, has with dist- 
ance acquired a specific historical objectivity. Its heights are irrecoverable (in terms of 
today's creativity) and it already verges on legend. 

From within the schema of this first half-century, this exhibition examines Fauvism, 
Cubism, Expressionism, Abstraction, selections of the so-called "fantastic" art of Chagall 
and de Chirico, Constructivism and Neo-Plasticism as well as Futurism (both Italian and 
Russian) and Surrealism in their more definably pictorial forms. 

In essence, the exhibition presents three parallel trends, each revolutionary in its way: 
the first seeks out increasingly abstract and absolute formal values, the second pursues 
fantastic and surreal imagery, and the third focuses on images of violent expressiveness. 
These paths each have their precedents in the artistic production of the last thirty years 
of the nineteenth century (as indeed is evident here). 

The discovery of pure color is at the core of each new experience — this had already 
been claimed for Impressionism, with its elimination of the grays and shading that inter- 
rupted chromatic splendor, its absence of palette-mixed pigments, which leaves the eye 
to blend hues on its own, and its daubs of color dancing like vibrant particles of light. 
Thus the luminous, colored flux of Impressionism, which conveyed a new sense of 
space, required no further form of characterization. This principle was variously devel- 
oped by individual Impressionists, as attested here by the assortment of works by Manet, 
Renoir and Degas which, ideally, would be integrated with examples from Monet, the 
prototypical Impressionist painter. 

Immediately hereafter, the path splits off abruptly in two directions — one toward an 
arabesque Symbolism, and the other toward Pointillism. 

The first path, blossoming like some exotic plant grafted onto the trunk of Impression- 
ism, found its most vivid expression in van Gogh and Gauguin. It was first nourished 
from a new source: the Japanese print, which suggested the unexplored potential of the 
stylization of line and simplification of color. The pure hues of the Impressionists were 
no longer broken and scattered in molecules to be recomposed by the eye of the observ- 
er; color was instead spread into broad zones modulated by lines and symbols. The re- 
sulting effect was not a naturalistic intensification of the perception of light, that is, 
something directed toward the senses. Instead, it consisted of a psychological or men- 



tal intensification of emotive and poetic data, and hence something directed toward the 
feelings. 

Meanwhile, Symbolism wove its mesh of "literary" associations, indulging even in ro- 
mantic subjects. But Gauguin and van Gogh made the leap from literature to unmediat- 
ed existence. It is no coincidence that their turbulent, adventurous lives paralleled the 
authentic existentialism evident in the paintings, where "symbols" as such are not a liter- 
ary surplus but a substantial element, inherent in the form. Color and line become sym- 
bols for the feelings, states of mind and emotions that the two artists aim to communi- 
cate. Their reds, yellows and greens may indeed have their correlative in the natural 
world, but van Gogh freighted these relations to breaking point. Such relations may also 
be totally transgressed with a chromatic outburst that has no correlative in nature, an 
outburst that throws off "reproduction" as an impediment to "expression." 
Similarly, line, for each artist, suggests through its movement changes in mood, while in 
van Gogh, the symbols are a reworking of the Impressionist daubs, transforming them 
into nervous psychic diagrams. 

The more attenuated and intellectual arabesques of Gauguin, however, do not push 
feelings to their limits, but liberate them in poetic modulations, channeling them to- 
ward nuances that would later be unleashed through the medium of color, in the felici- 
tous expression of the Fauves and even in the restive mysteries of de Chirico. 
Van Gogh, however, is the direct antecedent of Expressionism. This statement is self- 
explanatory. 

But we should now look at the other linguistic path deriving from Impressionism, 
which we speak of in terms of a "system." The system of Pointillism (in its Italian var- 
iant, Divisionism) consists in splitting colors and conveying them through flecks and 
points of pigment that no longer reflect the improvisatory application of the Impres- 
sionists but are aligned instead in a rational, systematic mode with a geometrically rigor- 
ous effect. The Post-Impressionist logic of Seurat is removed from that of van Gogh; 
indeed only Seurat's can rightly be called a "logic," one diametrically opposite to the 
"madness" of the Dutch painter. As in Impressionism, the result is directed toward the 
senses, but through a method that proceeds from analysis to synthesis with a mathemati- 
cal exactness. 

Sensation becomes self-conscious perception, and control is visible in the active pres- 
ence of reason. The mind dominates the senses and translates its reactions into a limpid 
scheme of construction. 

On this same line of development, anticipating the decomposition of vision and the 
"reasoning" of Cubism, we find Cezanne. According to Cezanne, nature (and even more 
so, painting) is a pattern of elementary solid forms. By moving beyond sensation (or by 
transcending mere sensation), the painter can in some way discover a rapport with the 
geometrical "idea," the Platonic archetype. Rather than actually evince such geometries, 
Cezanne merely hinted at them, as living forms, through a subtle analysis of planes, of 
luminous facets. 

In the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, this spirit of geometry (and the idea of "system") 
becomes quite sophisticated, reaching forward to a Utopian limbo, ruled by reason, but 
nourished by fantasy. 

The Cubists, of course, introduced the element of time to their spatial construction of 
the image, a synthesis derived from moving round the object to portray it from various 
angles. Put more simply, they disassembled the object, to reassemble it in an image that 
departs from the original physical data, creating a pattern that collapses onto the surface 
of the canvas those planes that normally lend depth. They seem bent on countering the 
laws of perspective with a new scientific data that is not based on direct perception but 
on completely novel spaciotemporal theories. 

This step was an extension of the scientific undertaking of Divisionism. While Seurat's 
operation is truly "scientific" in its suppositions and procedures (in the sense of a science 
of form and color), the Cubists extrapolated from science, attempting a translation. That 
is, they aspired to translate into painting a new scientific vision, not of painting, but of 
the world. 

Nonetheless, they operated with a conscious margin of free fantasy that spared them 
from any programmatic ingenuousness. What they were expressing is the rigor and sub- 



43 



tlety of the mind, cutting (once more) as if with surgeon's knife into the living tissue of 
the senses. The senses are actually chastised, as the artists rejected the Impressionist 
credo and muted their colors, retrieving grays and orchestrating monochrome tapestries 
as severe as they are refined. 

But what were the Cubist's scientific sources? There has been some talk of the "fourth 
dimension,'-' of links with relativity. But how could the Cubists have been familiar with 
the so-called "special theory of relativity" (the general theory dates from 1914) advanced 
in an academic journal by Albert Einstein in 1905 and elaborated by Hermann Min- 
kowski between 1907 and 1909, the very years in which Cubism surfaced? In the past, 
many scholars have supposed such a familiarity, but more recently the possibility has 
been excluded. The theories of Einstein and Minkowski were not widely known till 
years later, and certainly not before 1919. 

However, in those earlier years there was much speculation regarding multidimensional 
geometry, which had matured since in 1883, when new theorems in analytical geometry 
were proposed that included more than three variables. The names of Riemann, Jouffret 
and Poincare turn up in texts by Cubists such as Gleizes and Metzinger, even in the 
writings of Duchamp. They all speak of a "fourth dimension." Guillaume Apollinaire 
also mentioned the concept, writing in 1913 that Cubist painting had explored "those 
new possible measures of extension which, in the language of the modern ateliers are 
briefly summed up by the term fourth dimension." This dimension, according to Apolli- 
naire, "is space itself, the dimension of the... infinite [it] represents the immensity of 
space that externalizes itself in all directions in the selfsame instant." But such an "ima- 
gination" of the fourth dimension, he continued, "is nothing more than the manifesta- 
tion of the aspirations, the disquiet, of a great many young artists who saw sculpture 
from Egypt, from black Africa, or Oceania... Today no value is given to this Utopian 
expression, save some historical interest." 

Perhaps Apollinaire's comments were directed toward other movements, such as Futur- 
ism, which in the same year had posed new solutions derived in part form Cubism, but 
allied with concepts and speculations of a more scientific and positive nature, such as 
"simultaneity" and "dynamism." 

But Apollinaire's comments prompt a question. What relationship exists between the 
fourth dimension and primitive art? Traditional African works had deeply affected Pi- 
casso, helping him overcome the academic way of seeing based on a three-dimensional, 
perspectival representation of space. All archaic figuration is fixed in the two-dimen- 
sional space of the supporting medium, and the sense of depth is conveyed on that sur- 
face. This is exactly what Picasso sought to do, to bring out the ("temporally" successiv- 
e) side and rear planes of his objects, and in this way to dissolve the third dimension in 
an imaginative evocation of the fourth. 

Scientific futurism and a love for primitive expression were thus merged in the desire to 
regenerate the sensibility of modern man. "We are primitives of a new sensibility," the 
Futurists would soon declare. 

During these years this primitivist outlook had an immense impact, one far beyond the 
sphere of fine arts, touching as it did on the contradictions of the industrial society. 
Gauguin himself had quit Europe for a remote island in Tahiti to lead a "primitive" life. 
And Rousseau invented his own exquisite "naive" art, while Rimbaud exclaimed that he 
"liked idiotic painting, ornamental panels, scenery, signboards, popular illustrations." 
Almost all manifestations of the avant-garde in some way assume "primitive" values as 
"primary," values that are basically complementary to the idea of freedom extolled so 
frequently in modern social and economic thinking. The interest is directed not only 
toward truly primitive art, but equally toward every other form of expression (popular 
art, children's art, the art of the mentally disturbed) that is supposedly immune to the 
poisons of culture and thus able to communicate in a way more direct and uninhibited, 
hence more "free." 

Sometimes, as with the Expressionists, these values are engaged in service of denuncia- 
tion, of a radical outcry against the distortions of modern and industrial civilization. At 
other times, they are contemplated as sources of healthy energy that might further serve 
the productive prowess of modern society (as in Futurist thinking). 
In time, the critical label of "Fauves" or "wild beasts" given to Matisse and his apos- 



ties acquired a positive ring. Even the Abstract artists, anti-iconic in the extreme, betray 
traces of primitivism or equivalent, "noncultured" forms of figuration. 
Klee, for one, makes patent reference to children's art. The Blue Rider Almanac (1912), 
representing the group that gathered around Kandinsky, presents illustrations drawn 
from such sources. In Mondrian, the "primary" colors dominate, in accordance with an 
ideological approach that in its broad outlines also reflects this outlook. 
Abstract art was the destination of the "rational" process of distancing from natural 
data, a process initiated by the Cubists. As we look further afield for more distant inspi- 
ration and stimuli, we have to take account of the revolutions that catapulted society 
into the new age at the turn of the eighteenth century — the industrial revolution, 
which transformed the realm of productivity, the French Revolution, which trans- 
formed the sociopolitical realm, and the philosophical revolution of Idealism, which 
transformed the realm of thought. The first spawned the mechanically produced image, 
later even the animated image (photography, cinema), rendering manual production in- 
sufficient and superfluous. The second marked the demise of aristocratic and clerical 
hegemony, defusing sacred iconography and celebrative and representative imagery and 
in effect depriving artists of their major patrons. The third cast in doubt the priority of 
sensory data as the foundation of knowledge and, more generally, the passive dependen- 
cy of "interior" structures and representation on outside reality. 

The various forms of Abstract art are animated by at least three motives, three poetics: a 
"decorative" and project-based impulse that began with Jugendstil (with the ornamental 
experiments of Holzel, for instance) and evolved toward the applied research of the 
Bauhaus, in concert with the development of architecture and design; a "symbolic" and 
spiritualistic impulse that tended to equate the principles of painting with those of mu- 
sic, which is devoid of all naturalistic references and rich in interior, cosmic "corres- 45 
pondences;" and an utterly formalist impulse that favored geometry as offering an expe- 
rience of clarity and essentiality. 

These motivations are closely linked. An underlying rationalism pervades in the first as 
much as the third, and it is only partially justified, and not wholly convincing, to coun- 
terpose this rationalism with spiritualism (i.e., to contrast a secular and illuministic es- 
sentialism with a mystical one). Mondrian's work would become a model of absolute 
and idealizing rationalism, the paradigm in paint version of pure geometrical formalism 
in painting, design and typography. But Mondrian's poetics are pervaded by theosophi- 
cal and spiritualistic aspirations, directed toward overcoming the "contingent" and what 
he called the "tragedy of the quotidian" through an ideal of equivalence and equili- 
brium that is inherently also of the spirit and of reason. "I felt," he wrote, "that tragedy 
was born of nonequivalence." 

Kandinsky's Blue Rider is an image of eloquent symbolism, as spiritual as it is rational 
and idealizing. To theologians of an earlier era, such as Clemente Alessandrino, the 
horse represented the "irrational" side of the human soul; the rider, as guided and con- 
trolled by reason, represented the transcendent rationality of faith. This "blue horse- 
man" alludes to a spirituality intrinsic to the sentiments and passions, whose impetuous 
energy is nonetheless dominated and reined in. An explicit model here is the folk image 
of Saint George, who, guided by his mount (the energy of the psyche), slays the mons- 
ter. Kandinsky himself informs us that this monster was materialism — a term he con- 
fusedly associated with moral degeneration and the eclipse of ideals in the modern 
world, as well as with socialist doctrine. 

As compared with "classical" Mondrian, Kandinsky (at least in his initial, "romantic" 
abstract phase) is patently dynamic and tempestuous — and apparently irrationalistic. 
But within this musical, orchestrated and harmonious turmoil there is a rather liberated 
effusion of spirituality, a spirituality that is more impetuous but no less bridled than 
Reason. 

In Mondrian's abstract world, the "base" and tumultuous realm of phenomena is tran- 
scended in the inviolable image of a pure spirituality and rationality. All external refer- 
ences, even the most distant, are simply obliterated. In Kandinsky's abstract expression, 
which celebrates the symbiosis of spirit and universe — in which the former does not so 
much transcend the world and nature as envelop them, drawing them in and adapting 
them to its own form — residual, initially unrecognizable figurative elements can be 
detected. There is, in particular, a naturalistic motif Kandinsky used frequently in his 



abstract compositions, the outline of hilltops, the Murnau hilltops that appear through- 
out earlier figurative works. During Kandinsky's geometric period, this jagged outline, 
reduced to a kind of diagram, became a pure composition of triangles. The upward 
thrust of the mountain expresses the yearning for heights, for dominion, for the rarified, 
for the sublime. The triangle preserves, albeit in absolute form, the expressive import of 
its prototype. Not surprisingly, Kandinsky wrote that spiritual life is represented by the 
triangle. 

In these already historical modes of abstract painting, which have since become histori- 
cal, references to natural appearances are excluded (or submerged), but not "meanings" 
or "contents," though these are often undeliberate or unconscious. In Mondrian the 
evaluation of the equilibrium (in formal as well as in psychic terms) achieved by the 
horizontal crossing through the vertical is conscious. But the vast implications of the 
archetypal form inherent to such a motif — that is to say the symbol of the cross, which 
the Structuralists consider the most totalizing symbol of all — remain unconscious. The 
reiteration of the form of the cross (in the "Plus-Minus" series) evolved into the grid of 
coordinates found in Mondrian's more famous works. The cross also turns up in Malev- 
ich (the airplane-cross figure), in Moholy-Nagy, and in the square-patterned works of 
artists such as Kupka, Lissitzky, Bill and others. 

The cross fuses the model of the "norm" (i.e., the square) with the fundamental issue of 
orientation, terrestrial and cosmic. Etymologically, "norm" derives from the Latin term 
for a carpenter's square. As a symbol of rationality, of the equilibrating "norm," of an a 
priori, the cross is inherently suggestive of cosmic "correspondences." It reiterates the 
need for a center, a dominant, unifying point that summarizes and symbolizes every- 
thing, and that radiates in all directions. In his Pier and Ocean paintings Mondrian 
46 adapts a repeated cross form to the subject of the teeming sea as it meets the sky, in a 

fusion of orientation, navigation and the infinite. 

"Struck by the utter vastness of nature," wrote Mondrian, "I tried to express its expanse, 
its position, its unity." He transferred to paper or canvas that urge toward "total" territo- 
rial orientation, "founding" (like a new city) a new form of painting with a radical, pri- 
mary gesture. 

But alongside the intellectualism of the Cubists and the purifying mysticism of the Ab- 
stractionists, a new figurative imagery was flourishing, one whose diverse and at times 
tormented configurations would succeed in visualizing the disquiet and unsettled psych- 
ic humors that abstract art had laid aside. 

The feeling of Fauvism had been joyful, an explosion of coloristic energy for which the 
image is little more than a pretext. With the Expressionists, however, a syntax outward- 
ly not so different was employed in a blunt denunciation of problems and social injus- 
tices, dependent on forcefully representational images. 

Both Fauvism and Expressionism are the progeny of the "symbolic" arabesque (of Gau- 
guin and van Gogh), but while Fauvism suppresses the psychic symbol, restoring 
through color the pure joy of techniques, the latter contracts the symbol to a scream, in 
the spirit of Munch's dark Nordic horizons. 

From primitivist ethos sprang an isolated offshoot — in the form of Modigliani, whose 
lyricism betrays a trace of malaise, in the musicality of a refined, even educated, line of 
restive sensuality. 

Chagall imbued his imagery with dream contents, exalting the imagination as channeled 
through his suggestive and religious memory, the memory of his Jewish and Russian 
origins. 

And here we come to the great apparition of de Chirico's Metaphysics, which in some 
way remedies and integrates the syntactical and chromatic path of his French counter- 
parts, imbuing Gauguin's insight with the pregnant nocturnal suggestions of the mythi- 
cal imagery of the Germans (Bocklin's in particular). Through the small rift produced by 
this juxtaposition, an ostensibly antihistorical avant-garde universe was permeated with 
emblems of the Classical world, albeit in contorted form, laden with a sense of alarm, 
leavened with odd juxtapositions of everyday, contemporary objects. While the poesy of 
Chagall signifies the casting off of a weight of some kind, of earthly gravity, in a lyrical 
triumph of flight, de Chirico does quite the opposite, anchoring the canvas with a grave, 
psychic "weight." 



Freud (or the unconscious), the idol of the coming Surrealists, was not yet known in 
artistic circles, but while the "productive" dreaming of Chagall is informed with a day- 
time serenity, or at least a lunar clarity, de Chirico's waking vision is nightmarish and 
involves psychic "material." It evokes the psyche not as the expressionist crucible of 
painful sentiment but as a subterranean and unknown realm. 

In the wake of de Chirico, the Surrealists unleashed the Freudian demon. It was the 
Surrealists who rose up against the Olympus of Abstractionism. But despite the almost 
unlimited variety and wealth of its ideas, Surrealist art, with its figurative imagery bent 
on "reproducing" the dream realm, failed to exhaust the fundamental implications of 
the new movement, just as the paintings inspired by simultaneity and dynamism did not 
exhaust the implications of Futurism. 

Taking their cue from the intuitions of Marinetti, the Surrealists developed their theory 
of "automatism," the idea of tapping the vital energies of the subconscious through a 
direct transmission of its traces (which are "formless" rather than abstract). 
This was a technically innovative development of the ideology of "spontaneity" that had 
permeated all the various avant-garde manifestations, with a bias toward primitive or 
uncultured expression. In this key, however, the Surrealists preferred the model of the 
mentally unstable (later adopted programmatically by Dubuffet) or the spirit medium. 
Through the principle of automatism, the Surrealists provided a bridge to postwar art, 
the art of the second half of the century. Without such a precedent, the great revolution 
achieved by Pollock is unimaginable. The broad, entangling gestures of the American 
painter, created by dripping pigment onto the canvas with his "automatic" method, are 
sublimated in rhythm and, more deeply, in repetition ■ — like being lost in a cosmic 
delirium. 47 

Pollock resuscitated abstract painting, but jettisoned the Utopian ethos of Abstraction- 
ism and subverted its faith in reason. Where Mondrian pieced together his space accord- 
ing to the firm principle of "orientation," Pollock created an absolute disorientation, a 
vertigo that dissolves the idea of space in labyrinths of dazzling matter. 
Pollock looked out across the second half of the course of our century, as outlined at the 
beginning of this essay. A second half so different from the first, in which art sought to 
burst its boundaries, its confines, its role. In the new order, the work of art became an 
image, not of any reality, natural or imaginary, but of gesture, or an image that tends to 
align itself with the same reality as its representation, in a manipulation of the same 
matter. The new order opposed, through a diverse and indirect parallelism, ascetically 
conceptual systems. 



Abbreviations 


Authors 




V.E.B. 


Vivian Endicott Barnett 


J.B. 


Jennifer Blessing 


E.C.C. 


Elizabeth C. Childs 


L.F. 


Lucy Flint 


S.B.H. 


Susan B. Hirschfeld 


D.Mc. 


Denise McColgan 


N.S. 


Nancy Spector 


L.A.S. 


Louise Averill Svendsen 


J.R.W. 


Joseph R. Wolin 


Publications 



Rudenstine, 1976 

Angelica Zander Rudenstine 

The Guggenheim Museum Collection, 

Paintings 1880-1945 

2 vols., New York, 1976 

Rudenstine, 1985 

Angelica Zander Rudenstine 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 

New York, 1985 



Vivian Endicott Bamett 



The Thannhauser Collection 




s*°-«y* j 



Hilde and Justin K. Thannhauser 
and Harry F. Guggenheim with a model 
of the proposed galleries for the Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum, ca. 1963 




Camille Pissarro, The Hermitage at Pontoise, ca. 1867 
Collection Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 
Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser 



fl 






I? 






X 



Jules Pascin, Justin K. Thannhauser 
and Rudolf Levy Playing Cards, 1911 
Collection Hilde Thannhauser 



The Thannhauser Collection has become closely tied to the identity of the Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum. The objects in the original donation were placed on perma- 
nent view in the Thannhauser Wing of the Museum in 1965 and formally entered the 
Museum's collection in 1978, two years after the benefactor's death. More recently, 
several paintings have been added to the Thannhauser Collection through exchanges 
and through gifts from Hilde Thannhauser, Justin's widow. Since the works of art 
are always on exhibition in the specially designated Thannhauser building of the 
Museum, they are familiar to more than a generation of visitors to the Guggenheim 
in New York. The present exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi permits a larger interna- 
tional audience to become acquainted with an extraordinary selection of works ac- 
quired by Justin Thannhauser. The generosity of the Thannhausers is reflected in the 
masterpieces given both in Justin's original bequest and in the significant additional 
gifts made by Mrs. Thannhauser during the past decade. Both donors have presented 
to the Guggenheim outstanding works of art from the early twentieth century and 
have enriched the collection with essential masterpieces from the late nineteenth cen- 
tury. 

Their gifts of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures and rare early works by 
Picasso expand the historical parameters of the Guggenheim's collection. Camille Pis- 
sarro's monumental landscape, The Hermitage at Pontoise of 1867, is in fact the 
earliest picture in the Guggenheim Museum's holdings. This large canvas has 
belonged to the Thannhausers for more than seventy years. 1 

The history of the Thannhauser collection began around the turn of the century. 2 
Justin K. Thannhauser was born on May 7, 1892, in Munich. His father was the 
prominent art dealer Heinrich Thannhauser (1859-1935), who was well known and 
respected as early as 1904 when he was first associated with F. J. Brakl in Munich. 
On November 1, 1909, he opened his own gallery, the Moderne Galerie in the Arco- 
Palais at Theatinerstrasse 7 in the center of Munich with an exhibition of Impres- 
sionist paintings.' It was at about this time that Justin began to assist his father 
with exhibitions. 

The younger Thannhauser studied art history, philosophy and psychology in Paris, 
Munich, Berlin and Florence. Years later he particularly recalled his studies with Hen- 
ri Bergson, Adolf Goldschmidt and Heinrich Wolfflin. 4 During his stay in Paris 
around 191 1, Justin Thannhauser became acquainted with Wilhelm Uhde and Daniel- 
Henry Kahnweiler as well as the circle of Henri Matisse, which included Rudolf Levy 
and Jules Pascin. An extraordinary drawing by Pascin portraying Thannhauser and 
Levy in the Cafe du Dome on Christmas Eve 1911 is a promised gift from Hilde 
Thannhauser to the Guggenheim Museum. 

From the beginning, the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser presented innovative exhibi- 
tions of French as well as German art. The first exhibition of the Neue Kiinstler- 
vereinigung Miinchen, an association of Munich artists, was held at the Moderne 
Galerie from December 1 to 15, 1909. Organized by Vasily Kandinsky, it included 
thirteen of his own paintings and prints, twenty-one works by Gabriele Miinter and 
eleven by Alexej Jawlensky as well as several by Vladimir von Bechtejeff , Adolf Erbs- 
loh, Alexander Kanoldt, Alfred Kubin and Marianne von Werefkin. The second exhi- 
bition of the Neue Kunstlervereinigung was held at the gallery from September 1 to 
14, 1910, at which time paintings by Georges Braque, David and Vladimir Burliuk, 
Andre Derain, Kees van Dongen, Henri Le Fauconnier, Pablo Picasso, Georges Rou- 
ault and Maurice de Vlaminck as well as Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Kubin, Miinter and 
Werefkin were shown. Also in 1910, in May, the Moderne Galerie mounted an exhi- 
bition of forty paintings by Edouard Manet from the famous Auguste Pellerin collec- 
tion. More than twenty pictures by Paul Gauguin were shown in August and paintings 
by Pissarro and Alfred Sisley were exhibited in November of the same year. In Janu- 



51 




52 



Installation view of Die enle Ausstellung 

der Redaktion der blaue Reiter 

at the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser 

in Munich in 1911 

(Photo Gabriele Miinter) 



ary 1911 the art of Giovanni Giacometti and Cuno Amiet was presented at the 
gallery. One of the first exhibitions of Franz Marc's work was held there in May 

1911, In June of the same year Thannhauser showed thirty drawings by Paul Klee, 
and that December one hundred works by Ferdinand Hodler were exhibited. 

It was Heinrich Thannhauser who hosted the first exhibition of the Blaue Reiter {Blue 
Rider), the innovative group that created a new style of German painting. Die erste 
Ausstellung der Redaktion der blaue Reiter took place at the Moderne GaJerie at the 
same time as the third Neue Kiinstlervereinigung exhibition, from December 18, 1911, 
until January 1, 1912. 5 The Blaue Reiter was founded by Kandinsky and Marc; this 
first show included their work as well as that of Robert Delaunay, August Macke, 
Miinter, Henri Rousseau, Arnold Schonberg and others. The group's publication, Der 
Blaue Reiter Almanack, and their exhibitions in Munich became the nucleus of new 
artistic directions. 

However, Thannhauser's gallery continued to show Impressionist as well as avant- 
garde art. A presentation of forty works by Auguste Renoir in January 1912 was fol- 
lowed by a large Edvard Munch exhibition in February. A Futurist show opened on 
October 27, 1912, and in December fifteen paintings by Cezanne were displayed. In 

1912, when Walt Kuhn was in Europe locating works of art for the International Exhi- 
bition of Modern Art to be held at The Armory in New York, he contacted Heinrich 
Thannhauser. When the famous Armory show opened in New York in February 

1913, it included two Hodlers and a Vlaminck lent by Thannhauser. 

In February 1913 the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser in Munich organized the first 
large retrospective of Picasso's work with the assistance of Kahnweiler. Justin con- 
tributed a foreword to the exhibition catalogue. Picasso's Woman Ironing (cat. no. 
A25) was one of seventy-six paintings as well as thirty-eight works on paper present- 
ed. In the late 1930s Justin Thannhauser was able to buy this canvas from Karl Adler 
who had owned it since 1916. 

During World War I, the Moderne Galerie was forced to curtail its activities con- 
siderably. Justin Thannhauser was called to do military service and left Munich. 
Three illustrated catalogues, Nacbtragswerke, which appeared between September 
1916 and the spring of 1918, document the pictures that were available. The gallery's 
stock was predominantly nineteenth-century German and French art, although Post- 
Impressionist works by Paul Cezanne, Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh as well as 
twentieth-century pictures by Munch and Picasso were included. Since the German 
public was resistant to the French art that the Moderne Galerie handled, 6 Justin 
moved to Switzerland around 1918 and explored the possibility of expanding the 
gallery outside Munich. By this time he was married to Kate (1894-1960) and his two 
sons, Heinz and Michel, were born in 1918 and 1920, respectively. Kate Thannhauser 
was greatly supportive of her husband in all his many activities, particularly in build- 
ing up his collection. 

Following the war, Justin K. Thannhauser assumed the dominant role in the Moderne 
Galerie. In 1919 the gallery added a branch in Lucerne, which remained active until 
1928. January 1927 marked the opening of the Galerie Thannhauser at Bellevue- 
strasse 13 in Berlin and a large exhibition to commemorate the occasion was held at 
the Kunstlerhaus. The Erste Sonderausstellung in Berlin included several pictures now 
in the Guggenheim: van Gogh's Mountains at Saint-Remy, Manet's Before the Mirror 
(cat. nos. A17, A19), Pissarro's The Hermitage at Pontoise and Renoir's Woman with 
Parrot and Still Life: Flowers (cat. nos. A31, A32). The Berlin gallery closed in 1937. 
The original Moderne Galerie in Munich continued to do business until 1928. A 
Picasso exhibition took place there in June 1922, followed by a Kandinsky show in 
July and a presentation of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in December. In 1926 
an exhibition of Degas bronzes which had been organized by the Galerie Flechtheim 
in Berlin traveled to the Galerie Thannhauser in Munich. Das Plastische Werk von 
Edgar Degas included the three bronzes currently on display at the Palazzo Grassi (cat. 
nos. A6-A8). During the late 1920s Justin Thannhauser expanded the activities of the 
gallery and acquired many works of art. He purchased Cezanne's Still Life: Plate of 
Peaches (cat. no. A3), which had formerly belonged to Egisto Fabbri in Florence, from 
Paul Rosenberg in Paris in 1929. In November 1929 Thannhauser bought Cezanne's 
landscape of Bibemus (cat. no. A5) from Ambroise Vollard in Paris. Significantly, the 




Pablo Picasso signing Two Doves with Wings Spread 
as Jacqueline Picasso watches 
(Photo David Douglas Duncan) 




Installation view of the Thannhauser's home 
at 12 East 67th Street. New York 



focus of activity shifted to Berlin at this time. A large memorial exhibition honoring 
Claude Monet, organized with the assistance of Georges Clemenceau, took place at 
the Berlin gallery in February and March 1928. Other historic events were the in- 
fluential Gauguin show in October 1928 and the successful Matisse show in February 
and March 1930. Although it did not belong to Thannhauser at the time, Gauguin's 
canvas In the Vanilla Grove, Man and Horse (cat. no. A9) was lent to the famous 1928 
exhibition as number 51. 

Moreover, Justin Thannhauser played a prominent role in the organization of the 
1932 Picasso exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zurich. He had been in contact with Picas- 
so since his first retrospective in 1913 and he maintained the friendship throughout 
the artist's lifetime. Thannhauser's warm relations with Picasso also explain why 
there are so many works by the artist in the collection. By 1930 Thannhauser had ac- 
quired Bird on a Tree of 1928 from the artist, and in 1932 the drawings Au Cafe of 
1901 and 'Woman and Child of 1903 entered the collection. A few years later, around 
1937, he acquired from Picasso the Still Life: Flowers in a Vase of 1906 as well as the 
superb Woman with Yellow Hairoi 1931 (cat. nos. A28, Al). Even after World War 
II Thannhauser continued to visit Picasso in the south of France. David Douglas Dun- 
can photographed the artist signing his painting Two Doves with Wings Spread of 1960 
when Thannhauser received the canvas from Picasso at La Calif ornie in September 
1960. 

Although Justin Thannhauser's contacts with artists and his friendships continued, 
his life was disrupted by the political events of the 1930s. In 1937 he left Germany 
and went to France where he reestablished the gallery at 35, rue de Miromesnil in 
Paris. However, soon thereafter, in 1939, he had to flee the Nazis again. On Christ- 
mas Eve 1940 Justin Thannhauser and his first wife Kate left Europe on the last ship 
departing from Lisbon for New York. During World War II Thannhauser lost count- 
less works of art and other valuable possessions in both Germany and France. His 
home in Paris was raided by German troops who stole or destroyed antique furnish- 
ings, musical instruments, numerous works of art and the rare books and papers in 
his library. Also lost were the gallery archives and correspondence with artists, includ- 
ing that between Marc and Heinrich Thannhauser regarding the founding of the 
Blaue Reiter. 1 

It is impossible to reconstruct what no longer exists and difficult to trace what works 
survived. We do know that certain masterpieces were acquired during the 1930s: 
Gauguin's Haere Mai (cat. no. A10) was purchased from Ambroise Vollard in Paris 
in 1934 and Picasso's Le Moulin de la Galette (cat. no. A22), which the Moderne 
Galerie had sold to Paul von Mendelssohn Bartholdy about 1910, was bought back 
around 1935. Van Gogh's canvas Landscape with Snow (cat. no. A12) was acquired 
by 1937 and the van Gogh drawings (cat. nos. A13-A17) sent to the Australian artist 
John Russell were purchased from his daughter in Paris in 1938-39. In addition, 
Thannhauser obtained Picasso's The Fourteenth of July, Woman Ironing, Young 
Acrobat and Child and Vase of Flowers (cat. nos. A23, A25-A27) by 1939. 
In 1939 the fear of impending war provoked the French government to organize 
traveling exhibitions of paintings that belonged to museums, galleries and private col- 
lectors. Gauguin's Haere Mai, Pissarro's The Hermitage at Pontoise and Renoir's Wom- 
an with Parrot went to South America in La pintura francesca de David a nuestros dias 
which was presented in Buenos Aires (1939), Montevideo (1940) and Rio de Janeiro 
(1940). The three pictures were exhibited subsequently in the United States at the 
M. H. De Young Museum in San Francisco (1940-41), The Art Institute of Chicago, 
the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum in Oregon 
(1941). Likewise, Cezanne's Bibemus (cat. no. A5) was sent with an Exhibition of 
French and British Contemporary Painting organized by the Association francaise d' ac- 
tion artistique to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia during 1939. The fa- 
mous van Gogh painting Mountains at Saint-Remy (cat. no. A17), which was on loan 
to The Museum of Modern Art in New York when the war broke out, was kept there 
until Mr. Thannhauser moved into his new home at 165 East 62nd Street in April 
1941. 

In 1944 Justin Thannhauser's elder son, Heinz, who was fighting against the Nazis, 
was killed in combat on the day the south of France was liberated. Heinz Thannhaus- 



53 




Hilde and Justin K. Thannhauser 
at the celebration of his eightieth 
birthday at the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum in 1972 



54 



er, who had studied art history and published important articles on van Gogh's draw- 
ings, was to have continued the family tradition by taking over the gallery. 8 Justin 
Thannhauser, grieving for the death of Heinz and the illness of Michel, decided not 
to open a gallery on 57th Street in New York as he had previously planned and, in- 
stead, sold many works at auction in April 1945 at the Parke-Bernet Galleries. 9 
From 1946 -to 1971 Justin Thannhauser's home and private gallery was located at 12 
East 67th Street in New York. Friends, colleagues and clients remember visiting the 
townhouse and speak fondly of musical evenings with the Thannhausers. In America 
he continued to acquire additional works by the artists the gallery had always handled. 
Among the pictures now exhibited in Venice, Cezanne's Still Life: Flask, Glass and 
Jug and the portrait of Madame Cezanne as well as Picasso's The End of the Road (cat. 
nos. A2, A4, A21) were obtained in the mid-1950s. 

Justin Thannhauser's relationship with the Guggenheim Museum began in the early 
1960s. In 1963 an agreement was made whereby works from his collection would be 
bequeathed to the Museum, and since 1965 these have been on permanent view in 
their own galleries in the Monitor Building of the Guggenheim. Over the years Mr. 
Thannhauser gave works to museums in several countries, most recently to the Kunst- 
museum Bern, in 1973. In 1971 Hilde and Justin Thannhauser decided to move to 
Switzerland where they resided primarily in Bern. On May 7, 1972, Justin's eightieth 
birthday was celebrated at the Guggenheim Museum with a concert by Rudolf Serkin, 
who was a friend of Mr. Thannhauser. On December 26, 1976, Justin K. Thannhaus- 
er died in Gstaad, Switzerland. 

The legacy of Justin Thannhauser to the Guggenheim Museum has been perpetuated 
by the permanent exhibition and continuing documentation of his renowned collec- 
tion. Moreover, through the generosity and support of his widow Hilde Thannhauser, 
the collection has been augmented by the acquisition of Braque's still life Guitar, 
Glass and Fruit Dish on Sideboard of 1919 as well as by the gift of van Gogh's Land- 
scape with Snow of 1888 (cat. no. A12) and Picasso's Still Life: Fruits and Pitcher of 
1939. In 1985, at the time of Mrs. Thannhauser's presentation of the van Gogh and 
the Picasso, it was announced that ten additional works had been promised as gifts 
to the Guggenheim Museum. To commemorate the critical role the Thannhausers 
have played in the development of the Guggenheim Museum, the Monitor Building 
has recently been named for the Thannhauser Collection. Hilde Thannhauser's keen 
and active interest in the Guggenheim is manifested in her generous donations of 
works of art and in her willingness to participate in the unique presentation of the 
Thannhauser Collection at the Palazzo Grassi. 



Notes 

1. For information about works in the Thannhauser bequest, see V. E. Barnett, The Guggenheim Museum: Justin K. 
Thannhauser Collection, New York, 1978. 

2. Barnett, 1978, pp. 13-15. 

3. For photographs and information about the Moderne Galerie, see K.-H. Meissner, "Der Handel mit Kunst in Miin- 
chen 1500-1945" in Ohne Auftrag: Zur Geschichte des Kunsthandels, Munich, 1989, vol. I, pp. 44-57. 

4. Notes by J. K. Thannhauser, December 1972. 

5. M.-A. von Liittichau, "Die Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg und der Blaue Reit- 
er" in Ohne Auftrag: Zur Geschichte des Kunsthandels, Munich, 1989, vol. I., pp. 116-29; M.-A. von Liittichau, "Der 
Blaue Reiter" in Stationen der Moderne, exh. cat., Berlin, 1988, pp. 108-18 and Der Blaue Reiter, ed. Christoph von 
Tavel, exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Bern, 1986. 

6. E. W. Kornfeld, "Die Galerie Thannhauser und Justin K. Thannhauser als Sammler" in Sammlung Justin Thann- 
hauser, exh. cat. Kunstmuseum Bern, 1978, pp. 13-14. 

7. Notes by J. K. Thannhauser, ca. 1972. 

8. H. Thannhauser, "Documents inedits: Vincent van Gogh et John Russell", L' Amour de V Art , XIXe annee, Septem- 
ber 1938, pp. 285-86 and H. Thannhauser, "Van Gogh and John Russell: Some Unknown Letters and Drawings", 
The Burlington Magazine, vol. LXXIII, September 1938, pp. 96-97. 

9. New York, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., French & Other Paintings, April 12, 1945. 



56 



Al 

Pablo Picasso 

Woman with Yellow Hair 

Femme aux cheveux jaunes 

December 1931 

The sleeping woman with yellow hair 
is Marie-Therese Walter (1909-77). 
Picasso first met her in 1927 and 
portrayed her distinctive profile and 
sculptural forms most frequently in 
the 1 *■> 30s when she lived with him. 
Woman with Yellow Hair portrays 
Marie-Therese's blonde hair and 
striking good looks. Picasso has unit- 
ed forehead and nose in a single 
curve and has folded the arms 
around the sleeping head to form 
emphatically sweeping curves and 
opulent organic shapes. He associat- 
ed Marie-Therese with the languor, 
seductiveness and inward intensity 
of sleep and often, in the paintings 
of the early 1930s, gave her skin a 
strong lavender tonality, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

39'/8x31 7 /8in. 

100 x 81 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

I'istin K Thannhauser 
78.2514 T59 




57 



A2 

Paul ( iezanne 

Still Life: Flask, Glass and Jug 
;que 

S77 



58 



From the repeating design of the 
round, we know this still life 
was painted in a room of the apart- 
ment Cezanne rented in Paris on the 
rue de I'Ouest from 1876 to 1878 
and for a brief time in 1879. The ge- 
ometric patterning oi the wallpaper - 
lozenges .it the intersections of di- 
es - that appears in other 
still lifes and portraits has here been 
reduced to three evenly spaced cruci- 
form shapes. The middle element lies 
on the central vertical axis of the pic- 
ture; the three motifs, on a horizon- 
tal line one quarter of the way down 
from the top of the picture, punctu- 
ate the spaces between the trio of 
bottle, glass and jar, the only compo- 
nents oi the still life to rise above the 
lower halt of the composition. The 
edge of the table, covered by the 
white cloth, is one quarter of the 
way up from the lower framing edge, 
and just above this the four fruits are 
arranged in a neat row; their bright 
notes of warm red, orange and yel- 
low against the surrounding white 
animate the otherwise somber tones 
of brown, green and gray that 
dominate the painting. Pentimenti 
reveal that the rim of the glass was 
originally drawn about one and one- 
half inches higher, which would have 



made the entire composition even 
more regular and static. Altogether 
this is one of the most formal and hi- 
eratic of Cezanne's still lifes. 
The overall impression of this pic- 
ture contradicts our knowledge of its 
Parisian setting. The scumbled earth- 
iness of the background and the pair 
of simple vessels - the wine bottle 
with its woven straw basket and the 
glazed earthenware jar for olives - 
evoke a country setting and 
Cezanne's Provencal origins; the 
blue cruciforms seem as much inset 
tiles on a rough wall as the pattern 
on urban wallpaper. The tablecloth 
stands out stark and clean against 
the rich golden browns, despite the 
many grays that modulate its white- 
ness. The spare arrangement of ob- 
jects on the cloth - flask and wine- 
glass, the ceremoniously presented 
fruit, and the knife that points be- 
tween the fruit at the foot of the 
glass - together with the trinity of 
aureoled crosses hanging above im- 
part a sense of the sacral to the pic- 
ture. The sobriety of the painting's 
subject and composition is under- 
scored by its intensely conceived and 
laboriously gained forms, built up 
from a profusion of careful, deliber- 
ate strokes of paint, (j.r.w.) 



1871-1906 



Oil on . 

/. in. 
.m. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

K. Thannh.i 




59 



A3 

annc 

late of Peaches 
morte: assiette de pcches 
187 

; 'late oj Peaches Cezanne 
continues his departure from the 
French Impressionist tradition, out 
of which he grew. Whereas the Im- 
pressionist goal was to paint subjects 
as active reflectors of light and color, 
often imparting an insubstantiality 
ol environment, in this work Ce- 
zanne distills light into an agent that 
helps to accomplish what the artist 
referred to as the "realisation" of his 
subject, that is, the most heightened 
realization of an object's particulari- 
ty as a created entity in the world. 
Presented here is a plate of fruit, 
consisting mainly of a pile of 
peaches; however, a pear can be 
recognized at the top of the pile, and 
resting on the tablecloth at the left 
are two other pieces, either peaches 
or oranges. The fruit is painted in 
modulated hues of orange, red and 
green to indicate their rounded 
forms and various stages of ripeness. 
60 The tablecloth on which they are 
placed is rumpled into peaks and 
folds, taking on a sculptural appear- 
ance as substantial as the fruit itself. 
The background wallpaper, which 
Cezanne used in several other still 
lifes, is colored a deep blue gray, and 
therefore acts as a rich complement 
to the red and orange of the fruit. It 
is not painted as a simple backdrop, 
however, for Cezanne allows several 
leaf forms in the pattern to seem to 
emerge from the rear plane so that, 
together with the wallpaper's color- 
ing, a palpable sense of atmosphere 
is created that binds the background 
and main subject. Working in the 
genre of still life, that is, the portray- 
al of inanimate objects, Cezanne 
produces a composition that is quiet- 
ly but distinctly animated and alive. 
The picture reflects the subtle, glow- 
ing mystery of a humble everyday ta- 
ble scene, (d.mc.) 



Oil on ( 

cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New 'i 

[ustin K Thannhauser 

1 T4 




61 



Paul ( iezanne 

anne 

>-87 

This unfinished work allows us to 
cm ( i/anne's method of draw- 
ing directly with color to create his 
After sketching outlines of 
the general forms on the canvas with 
long, fluid, almost calligraphic brush- 
strokes, like those still visible in 
Madame Cezanne's dark blue-violet 
dress and collar, the artist mapped 
out tonal ranges by filling in broad 
areas, such as the muddy green and 
brown hair or the pale blue and 
green vaporous background, with 
loose, brushy applications of thin 
color. On top of this he laid short, 
closely massed strokes, building up 
the volumetric forms of the subject's 
face with a variety of warm pinks, 
red oranges, mauves and greens. 
These individualized, successive 
touches of high-keyed color are like 
those of his fellow Impressionists, 
but Cezanne uses them to model ob- 
jects in space rather than to dissolve 
forms in light and atmosphere. 
62 The artist married Hortense Fiquet 
in 1886, seventeen years after they 
met and fourteen years after the 
birth of their son. They lived apart 
for long periods, but Cezanne often 
painted and drew her portrait when 
they were together. Twenty-seven 
painted depictions of Madame Ce- 
zanne are known. The task of the ar- 
tist's sitters was an arduous one that 
required remaining motionless and 
silent for hours on end. Madame Ce- 
zanne's patience is portrayed here, 
however, as impassivity. Her fea- 
tures are generalized, her forehead 
and the front of her nose forming a 
continuous plane; the expressionless 
stare of her eyes and set of her 
mouth suggest vacuity, or at most a 
kind of stoic resignation. Even the 
tilt of her oval head seems a formal 
device, not an expressive one. The 
portrait gives us little clue to the sit- 
ter's character and, perhaps, even 
less about the artist's attitude to- 
ward her. Cezanne depicts his wife 
with a detached, almost scientific 
objectivism, with less human feeling 
than he sometimes lavished on his 
still lifes and landscapes, (j.r.w.) 



Oil on canvas 
18 in. 
• -45.7 cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

Uistin K. Thannhauser 
1 T5 



4 & 
^ 



/ 



'<■• '■-■ 



I ; 



>fn 




,^»-.'-> 







63 



Paul Cezanne 
BiBemus 

1-95 

■.tunc painted several scenes of 
the abandoned quarry called Bibe- 
mus, to the cast ol Ai\; from 1895 to 
1899 he rented a small building there 
to store Ins painting materials. The 
site was a wild landscape of reddish 
ocher colored rock, cut away in 
jagged Blocks and massive escarp- 
ments, overgrown and half-hidden 
by vegetation. In this view verdant 
bushes and trees cover the top of a 
ridge before a distant range of pale 
lavender mountains. Vihrant reds, 
oranges and violets define the stony 
terrain and the Brilliant, apparently 
sheer rock face that cuts into the 
right loreground. Unpainted areas of 
the now somewhat yellowed canvas 
articulate clouds in the sky and bare 
patches on the ground, especially on 
a nearhy hillock in the lower left 
corner. The overall tonality grows 
less fervent as the eye travels Back in 
depth and up the picture's surface; 
the foreground's intense warm reds 
64 and purples give way in the upper 
half of the painting to the strong 
greens of the foliage and then to the 
cooler pale blues of the sky above. 
While a general directional move- 
ment forward in space from left to 
right seems indicated, it is not com- 
pelling, and there is no clearly de- 
fined focus. The flickering sensa- 
tion, induced By the parallel vertical 
touches that Cezanne uses to con- 
struct the forms of rocks and trees, 
abets this compositional diffusion. 
(j.R.w.) 



28 '/«< }5 V 
71.5x89.8 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim 

York 

lustin K. Thannhauser 
78.251 




65 



1 )ancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised 

. i 

Although .in impassioned and active 
[ptor during his later years, Degas 
did not have any ol the pieces he 
created cast in bronze, nor did he ex- 
hibit any of them, except the Little 
ar-Old Dancer (Collec- 
tion Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, Up- 
perville, Virginia), which was shown 
.it the 1881 Impressionist exhibi- 
tion. One can only speculate as to 
why he refused to have some of his 
several hundred wax or clay ma- 
quettes reproduced. Degas's com- 
ments on the subject attest to his am- 
bivalence. Apparently, he very much 
desired to see his sculptures pre- 
served, and once remarked to his 
model Pauline, "Oh, how I would 
like to have a molder come! But 
there's no end to my sculpture: noth- 
ing happens to me but accidents ."' 
At the same time, however, he tend- 
ed to value the sculptural process 
over the finished product. Ambroise 
66 Vollard recalled Degas's hesitance to 
commit his works to bronze in an 
amusing anecdote: "One day he said 
to me of a Dancer which was in its 
twentieth transformation: 'This time 
I have it. One or two short sittings 
and Hebrard [the founder] can 
come.' The next day I found the 
dancer once again turned to the state 
of a ball of wax. Faced with my 
astonishment [Degas said]: 'You 
think above all of what it was worth, 
Vollard, but if you had given me a 
hatlul of diamonds my happiness 
would not have equalled that which 
I derived from demolishing [the 
figure] for the pleasure of starting 
over 

The bronzes presented here were 
created posthumously, when seven- 
ty-three of the one hundred and fifty 
pieces of sculpture discovered in the 
artist's studio were cast by Adrien 
A Hebrard's master founder, Albi- 
no Palazzolo, under the supervision 
of Degas's friend Albert Bar- 
tholome. By means of a two-step, 
lost-wax technique, requiring the 
manufacture of intermediary bronze 
models, the original, fragile sculp- 
tures - constructions of wax, plaste- 



line and pieces of cork on wire arma- 
tures - were saved. 
The process was described as fol- 
lows: "Palazzolo covered the figures 
with earth, then he enveloped the 
whole with a coat of plaster, then he 
removed the earth and poured in its 
place a specially prepared gelatine, 
which he then allowed to harden, 
thus obtaining a gelatine mold. lie 
extracted the delicate wax figures 
unharmed and poured wax into the 
mold reinforcing it with a central 
core of sand. The duplicate wax 
tigure, being expendable, was cast 
by the ordinary lost-wax method 
with the advantage that the resulting 
bronze could be compared with 
Degas's original wax and given the 
same tone and finish." 3 
Degas translated the motifs he ex- 
plored in his paintings and pastels - 
horses, dancers and bathers - into 
sculptural form with the same sense 
of abandonment and experimenta- 
tion. As essays on motion, Degas's 
three-dimensional pieces defy the 
traditional nineteenth-century aca- 
demic emphasis on monumental nar- 
rative or commemorative sculpture. 
Although particular poses represent- 
ed in the artist's sculptures may be 
traced to his two-dimensional work - 
the upright, extended posture of 
Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised 
is visible in a charcoal drawing enti- 
tled Trois Danseuses en maillot, les 
bras leves, the model's twisted stance 
in Spanish Dance appears in earlier 
pastels dating from the mid- 1880s, 
including Danseuse espagnole, and 
the sitter's position in Seated Woman 
Wiping Her Left Side is prefigured in 
the pastel Femme s'essuyant, ca. 1886 
(Collection James Archdale, Birming- 
ham, England) - the pieces must be 
viewed as discrete entities and not as 
studies for or after painted versions. 
(n.s.) 



[illard, The Sculpture of 
EdgarDegas, Princeton. New fersej . 1976, p. 30. 
' Quot< }6. 

Quoted in V.E. Barnett, The Guggenheim 
Museum Justin K Tbannhaust New 

York. 1978. p 



in. 
high 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

■ 




67 



Spanish I )ance 
1911 



68 



40.5 cm 

K ( lUggcnhcim Museum 
Vork 

K Thannliauser 




69 



man Wiping Her Left Side 
i ssuyant le cote gauche 
L911 



70 



13 J /< in. 
35 cm. high 

K C iuggenheim Museum 
i nrk 

[ustin K Thannhauser 
I T10 




71 



Paul Gauguin 

!n the Vanilla ( irove, Man and I [orse 
//<•;•<', homme et cheval 

( rauguin firsl [raveled to Tahiti in 
1891: he arrived there in early June 
and probably began to paint in Sep- 

nber. At least twenty canvases 
date from the autumn of 1891 and 

iny portray the artist's new sur- 
roundings in this Tahitian landscape. 
In the Vanilla Grove, Man and Horse 
shows two large foreground figures 
juxtaposed with dense foliage, which 

nceals two female figures who ap- 
pear to be tending vanilla plants. 
Gauguin contrasts the man and 
horse in the foreground with the styl- 
ized landscape in the background. 
Man and horse are presented in close 
proximity; their boldly outlined 
forms are derived from a similar pair 
that appears on the West Frieze of 
the Parthenon. Gauguin turned to 
Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Javanese 
and primitive art for images and he 
is known to have used photographs 
for specific motifs. In this painting 
12 both the abstract color areas in the 
foreground and the tapestrylike 
foliage in the background compress 
space. Flat, colored shapes can be 
perceived as surface patterns. Like 
van Gogh, Gauguin sought bright 
light, 'which tends to flatten volumes 
into areas of intense color, (v.e.b.) 



burlap 

28 >/« x 36 '/j in. 

.' cm. 
Solomon K Guggenheim Museum 

: TI5 




73 



74 



A10 

Paul Gauguin 

to Tahiti in 
guin informed a journalist 
ili.u In- was fleeing France in order 
to make "simple, verj simple art... to 
immerse mvselt in virgin nature, see 
no one but savages, live their life, 
with no other thoughts in mind but 
to rentier the way a child would, the 
concepts formed in my brain, and to 
do this with nothing but the primi- 
tive means ot art, the only means 
that are good and true." 1 Gauguin's 
desire to reject Western civilization 
and completely immerse himself in a 
naive culture tor the sake of aesthet- 
ic and spiritual inspiration reflects 
the dialectical stance of European 
primitivism. A concept that emerged 
at the end of the nineteenth century, 
primitivism was motivated by a 
romantic faith in the possibility of an 
unsullied Garden of Eden hidden in 
the "uncivilized" world - an idea in- 
duced by the writings of Jean-Jacques 
Rousseau - and a fascination with 
what was perceived as the raw, un- 
mediated sensuality of this world's 
cultural artifacts. This voyeuristic 
engagement with underdeveloped 
societies corresponded to the expan- 
sion of French imperialistic practices 
at the time. With the increase of 
French colonies - Tahiti was an- 
"nexed in 1881 - arose a fixation on 
the savage. 



Haere Mai is an example of such con- 
tradictions as they are manifest in 
Gauguin's art. The painting is an 
idyllic landscape, complete with wild 
black pigs in the foreground. It prob- 
ably depicts the hills surrounding 
Mataiea, the small village in which 
Gauguin settled during the fall of 
1891. The richly hued tapestry of 
flattened forms - mere evocations of 
the lush Tahitian terrain - reflects the 
simplicity of style the artist sought 
during his first visit to the island. 
Gauguin superimposed onto the can- 
vas the phrase "Haere Mai" which 
means "Come here!" in Tahitian and 
does not coincide with the content 
of the painting. The artist, who 
spoke little of the native language at 
the time of his first visit there, often 
combined disparate Tahitian texts 
with images in an effort to evoke the 
foreign and the mystical. 2 Evident- 
ly, this practice was intended to 
make the paintings more enticing to 
the Parisian public, which craved in- 
timations of the strange and exotic. 

(N.S.) 



' Quoted in K. Varnedoe, "Gauguin," in 
Primitivism in 20th-century Art: Affinity of the 
Tribal and the Modem, vol. I, exh. cat., New 
York, 1984, p. 187. 

: V E. Barnett, The Guggenheim Museum: The 
Justin K Thannhauser Collection, New York, 
1978, p. 59. 



Oil on burlap 
28 '/:x 56 in 

■ ,m. 
Solomon K Guggenheim 

[ustin K Thannhauser 

I T16 




75 



All 

i van dogh 

vith Underpay 
aduc 



76 



living in Paris, van Gogh made 
frequent excursions to the suburb of 
Asnieres in order to escape the urban 
environment and to paint in nature 
before his subject, a method he often 
advocated to other artists. On these 
trips he would usually stay at the 
family home of Bernard, a young 
painter he advised. In a letter to Ber- 
nard from Aries, van Gogh reiterat- 
ed his position on the importance of 
painting from experience rather than 
from the imagination: "...I am get- 
ting well acquainted with nature. 
I exaggerate, sometimes I make 
changes in a motif; but for all that, 
I do not invent the whole picture; on 
the contrary, I find it all ready in na- 
ture, only it must be disentangled." 1 
On a late summer day in 1887, van 
Gogh set out to record one of the 
many now-extinct poternes, or under- 
pass and tollhouse structures, that 
ringed Paris and regulated entry into 
the city. 2 For Roadway with Under- 
pass, van Gogh chose the vantage 
point of a traveler en route from As- 
nieres to Paris, which is suggested by 
a dim glow at the end of the tunnel. 
The lone figure clad in black walking 
into the darkness midway in the tun- 
nel lends a vague air of foreboding to 
the picture. 

Van Gogh painted this scene at the be- 
ginning of his mature period when he 
was exploring the technical achieve- 



ments of the various stylistic idioms 
current in Paris. The contrasting 
creamy ocher impasto and chalky 
blue shadows on the crumbling ma- 
sonry underpass and the road suggest 
the heightened palette and divided 
brushstroke of the Impressionists. 
Van Gogh's hesitant investigations 
of Divisionist color theory are attest- 
ed to by the contrasting complemen- 
tary colors he employs in the ener- 
getic dots and loose dashes that im- 
ply the movement of the foliage ani- 
mated by the breeze on the embank- 
ment. 

Roadway with Underpass foreshad- 
ows two paintings with similar com- 
positional formats that van Gogh 
would paint at Aries in 1888, The 
Trinquetaille Bridge (Private Collec- 
tion, United States) and The Rail- 
road Bridge (Collection Kunsthaus 
Zurich). Like the present painting, 
these two works present a view 
through a tunnel from the perspec- 
tive of a spectator situated diagonal- 
ly to the right of the bridge; however 
the more complex later canvases also 
include a counterthrusting pathway 
leading to the left. (j.B.) 



1 The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, 
vol. Ill, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1958, B19, 
p. 518. 

2 V.E. Barnett, The Guggenheim Museum: The 
Justin K Thannhauscr' Collection, New York, 
1978, p. 63. 



n cardboard mounted 
on panel. 12 
II cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

1 1 ist in K Thannh.i 
I T17 




77 



A12 

Vincent van Gogh 

Landscape with Snow 

Paysage enneige 

1888 



78 



Disillusioned with Parisian artists' 
md the oppressive 
gloom of the urban winter, van 
Gogh left Paris in mid-February 
1888 to find rejuvenation in the 
healthy atmosphere of sun-drenched 
Aries. When he stepped off the train 
in the southern city, however, he 
was confronted by a snowy land- 
the result of a record cold 
spell Undaunted, van Gogh painted 
Landscape with Snow around Febru- 
ary 24, when the snow had mostly 
melted, just prior to a new inunda- 
tion. 1 The artist implies the patchy 
coverage of the snow through daubs 
of brown paint and by leaving areas 
of the canvas exposed, both suggest- 
ing the bare earth. The relatively 
subdued tonality of the picture is in 
stark contrast to the brilliant illumi- 
nation and feverish colors of the sum- 
mer harvest paintings van Gogh 
made later in the year. Here, instead, 
he presents the looming, purplish 
light of an impending snowstorm. 
A great admirer of Japanese art, van 
Gogh went to Aries hoping to estab- 
lish an artistic community in an en- 
vironment commensurate with his 
Oriental ideal. He wrote to his 
brother Theo from Aries, "But for 
my part I foresee that other artists 
will want to see color under a 
stronger sun, and in a more Japanese 
clarity of light." 2 This painting may 



have been inspired by the snowy 
scenes common to the Japanese 
prints van Gogh avidly collected, but 
it also follows conventions of 
seventeenth-century Dutch land- 
scape painting in its gradation of 
color from dark greens and browns 
framing the foreground to blue sky 
in the distance, and through the di- 
agonal recession of the road in the 
snowy landscape. 

But, unlike Dutch panoramas with 
their broad expanse of sky, the 
present work shows van Gogh con- 
centrating on the terrain between 
where he stands and the bright red- 
roofed cottage in the distance. He 
paints the scene from a perspective 
immersed in the landscape, on the 
same plane as the black-hatted man 
and bowlegged dog trudging along 
the path. This canvas and a similar 
one painted a day or so later, Snowy 
Landscape with Aries in the Back- 
ground (Private Collection, London), 
are less detailed than the more 
elaborate and descriptive landscapes 
van Gogh made a few months later, 
thus suggesting the artist's tentative 
approach to his recently chosen 
home. (j-B.) 

1 R. Pickvance, Van Gogh in Aries, exh. cat., 
New York, 1984, pp. 41, 43. 

2 The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, 
vol III, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1958, 538, 
p. 39. 



Oil on canvas 

I6x 19 

4018 x 48.2 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

Gift, Hilde Thannhauser 

- 








79 



80 



I [cad ol .1 Girl 
fune 1888 

Alter several months painting the 
an < rogh began to 
investigate portraiture. At lirst, his 
ts were anonymous locals, like 
the urchin of Head of a Girl and the 
young infantryman of The Zouave; 
later he would convince his Iriends, 
for instance the postman Roulin and 
members oi his family, to sit for him. 
Both of these drawings were en- 
closed in letters to John Russell, an 
Australian painter van Gogh had 
met in Paris. One day toward the 
end of June 1888, van Gogh inter- 
rupted the letter he was writing to 
Russell to draw the image of a young 
blonde girl he had seen that after- 
noon while painting a river scene. 
When he finished the picture he con- 
tinued writing on the reverse ot the 
sheet. Also that month he painted a 
sketch of the child, The Girl with 
Ruffled Hair (Private Collection, Swit- 
zerland). The Zouave, instead, was 
one of a dozen formal drawings after 
finished paintings that van Gogh 
sent to Russell in early August, hop- 
ing to persuade him to purchase the 
original canvases. 

In his letters van Gogh expressed his 
aspiration to revive the great tradi- 
tions of portraiture embodied by 
Daumier and the Dutch masters. 
Their paintings depicted the inner 
state of the individual while also 
presenting him or her as a type or 
class of person. Like his contem- 



porary, the realist writer Emile Zola, 
van Gogh wanted to create character 
studies of real people, not highly 
idealized or allegorical figures. 
Among van Gogh's colleagues, this 
renewed enthusiasm for genre sub- 
jects extended to foreigners and 
peasants, who were appreciated for 
their exoticism and picturesque 
value. Van Gogh's interest in such 
subjects is expressed in these two 
drawings by his emphasis on the 
flamboyant uniform of the young 
man from the Zouave, a French 
army squad originally recruited from 
Algeria, and in his imaginative em- 
bellishment of the street child's 
clothes and unruly hair. That van 
Gogh shared a class-based disdain 
for these individuals is suggested by 
his comparison of them to animals in 
his letters; the girl is a "dirty 'mud- 
lark'"; the Zouave has a "bull neck," 
"the eye of a tiger" and a "feline 
head." 1 

The wildly abstracted patterns of the 
sitters' clothing foreshadow the ani- 
mated wallpaper backgrounds of van 
Gogh's late Portrait of Joseph Roulin 
(Collection The Museum of Modern 
Art, New York) and La Berceuse, a 
portrait of Roulin's wife (Collection 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). (j.B.) 



1 The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, 
vol II. Greenwich, Connecticut, 1958, 501a, 
p. 592, and 501, p. 591. 



Ink on wove paper (lozenge) 
■ 7"/lt in. 
5 cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

I istin K Thannhauser 
• T20 




81 



A 14 

I iogh 

t 1888 



82 



Ink on wove paper 

cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim 

York 

.cuser 
I T23 




83 



84 



A15 
Vine 

i i Mai ies 

Vugusl 1888 

Hntli Jr. iv. done dui ing the 

fifteen-month period when van 

lived in Ai les, an ancient town 

i the Mediterranean 

At this time his production 
traordinaril) prolific. The art- 
ist made the drawings alter paintings 

he had done and sent them to his 
1 John Russell. Van Gogh was a 
il seeker; we know 
from descriptions in his letters that 
he had a natural propensity lor ap- 
prehending landscapes, people and 
objects with an unusual intensity, 
and it was only through his art that 
he could concretize this highly 
charged optical experience of the 
a i 'I Id. The present works were made 
close in time to one another and 
executed in the same medium. Al- 
though they ditler in subject - one is 
a seascape and the other a landscape 
- we may appreciate how van Gogh 
found in each scene a great energy 
which he imparted to the drawings. 
Boats at Saintes-Maries portrays a 
group of fishing boats setting out to 
sea; however, the major portion of 
the composition is devoted to the sea 
itself. In the immediate foreground 
we note a strong turbulence, created 
by long and undulating strokes of the 
pen. Within this pattern, though, 
are clearer areas, dotted here and 
there with tiny strokes, which sug- 
gest the frothiness of the water lap- 
ping the shoreline. 
Farther beyond and continuing to 
the horizon, van Gogh's strokes be- 
come smoother and horizontal, in- 
dicative of the calm of the open sea. 
The sky is studded with dots; this 
treatment is typical of many of his 
drawings of the late 1880s. The art- 
ist no doubt took delight in contrast- 
ing the man-made and precisely de- 
lineated structure of the fishing 



boats with the irregular patterns 
made by the mighty unruliness of the 

Mediterranean. 

The Road to Tarascon, while as full of 
nature's energy as the previous 
work, is nevertheless serene. The 
drawing is a landscape, but clearly its 
main subject is the sun shining glori- 
ously in the sky, framed by two cur- 
vilinear trees. Van Gogh has used an 
enormous variety of lines in the pic- 
ture. In the immediate foreground is 
the road to Tarascon (a village just 
north of Aries), given a dotted pat- 
tern. Behind the two trees are fields, 
and to the right in the background is 
a row of cypresses. The dominating 
sun consists of a faint circle with a 
surrounding area of brilliant white. 
Lightly executed lines emanating 
from the white aureole give way to a 
radial pattern of short horizontal 
strokes. The curvature of the trees is 
emphasized by the series of lines that 
wrap in ringlike patterns around 
their trunks. Directly behind the 
trees we note an area of ground made 
of short, upright strokes, and be- 
yond that a field which is defined by 
a horizontal patterning of slightly 
longer lines. The cypresses, trees 
traditionally associated with death, 
are made by marks placed so closely 
together that they blend into a dense 
and dark mass that contrasts dis- 
tinctly with the lifegiving sun. As in 
Boats at Saintes-Maries, the sky is 
studded with dots. 
In both of these works, as in all of his 
drawings, van Gogh's use of line is as 
passionate as his use of paint. They 
are prime examples of the artist's 
abilin to utilize this element in creat- 
ing contrasting patterns, variations of 
light and darkness, and suggestive at- 
mosphere to convey the meaning of 
his subject to the viewer. (d.Mc.) 



k on wove paper 

cm. 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

I T21 






*»v* » 







85 



m[ van ( . 

\ugust 1888 



86 



nk on wove paper 

in. 
cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim 
York 

|i ist in K Thannhauser 
I 122 




87 



rOgh 

intains at Saint-Remy 

Montagues a Saint-Remy 
July 1889 

I n Mountains at Saint-Remy van Gogh 
depicts the Alpilles, a low, rugged 
mountain range visible from the 
hospital "I Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in 
Saint-Remy, where he was a patient 
in 1889. He has emphasized the un- 
dulating and contorted line of the 
mountain peaks by repeating patterns 
of brushstrokes that delineate the 
slopes. The upper portion of the can- 
vas displays heavily brushed blue pig- 
ment that functions as a visual 
equivalent for the sky and echoes the 
curvilinear shapes in the lower half. 
Van Gogh's powerful, thick strokes 
not only give contour and form but 
also provide directional movement 
and expressive energy. The intensity 
of van Gogh's painting derives pri- 
marily from the forms with their tu- 



multuous, convoluted contours rath- 
er than from the colors. In this and 
other Saint-Remy landscapes his col- 
ors, while still bold, have become no- 
ticeably more restrained than in pre- 
vious years. 

About July 9, 1889, van Gogh men- 
tioned Mountains at Saint-Remy in a 
letter to his brother Theo: "The last 
canvas I have done is a view of 
mountains with a dark hut at the 
bottom among some olive trees." A 
month later he referred to the paint- 
ing again and associated it with a 
passage in a book he was reading, 
Edouard Rod's Le Sens de la vie, 
describing "a desolate country of 
somber mountains, among which are 
some dark goatherds' huts where 
sunflowers are blooming." (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

28 '/4* )5'/« in. 
cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
Vorlc 

lujtin K Thannhauser 
I T24 




89 



tid< M.iillol 
Woman with Crab 
nine au crabe 
•2 (?)-05 

Maillol created several small sculp- 
tures of women crouching in various 
attitudes during his career. This 
bronze was cast by the art dealer 
Ambroise Vollard from a terra cotta 
modeled by the sculptor that is no 
longer extant. Like most of Maillol's 
sculptures, Woman with Crab depicts 
an idealized nude female, young, 
strong and voluptuous. She squats in 
balanced and naturalistic contrap- 
posto on a small base, suggesting just 
as much area of a beach as is covered 
by her body, and intently studies a 
crab near her left foot. Her ungainly 
pose, close to the ground with knees 
at nearly shoulder height, seems to 
parallel the crab's stance. The loose- 
ly curled lingers of the woman's 
right hand, lying flopped palm up on 
the sand, also echo the form of the 
crustacean with its many jointed 
legs. She pinches her right wrist with 
the forefinger and thumb of her left 
90 hand as if in half-conscious imitation 
of the action of the animal's claws. 
Even the figure's hair expresses 
some affinity with marine life; the 
whorl of the bun on the back of her 
head is reminiscent of the spiral shell 
of another kind of sea creature. 
(j.R.W.) 



Bronze 

6 x 5 74 « A >/< in. 

L4.6x 12.1 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Musculo 
New York 

istin K Thannhauser 

< T26 




91 



>uard Manet 
re i lit- Mirror 
Devant la glace 
1876 

In the late 1870s Manet executed 
several half-length studies of women 
dressing or bathing. The theme of a 
woman before a mirror appears also 
in his painting Nana (Collection 
Kunsthalle, Hamburg). In the exam- 
ple illustrated here the model, whose 
face and identity remain unknown, 
is shown with her back to the view- 
er: her blonde hair, pinkish skin and 
blue corset are rendered with expres- 
sive, fluid brushstrokes that dom- 
inate the canvas. Within the mirror, 
one does not find the woman's re- 
flection but only strokes of paint. 
Manet's brushwork unites the pic- 
ture surface, blurring distinctions of 
space and modeling and giving uni- 
formity to foreground and back- 
ground. Manet has "set down" the 
figure in paint with great freedom of 
handling and boldness in certain pas- 
sages. As in other Impressionist paint- 
ings, no attempt has been made to 
92 finish the painting in a traditional 
sense, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

- 
' cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

lustin K Thannhauser 
i T27 




93 



1 Manet 
man in Evening Dress 
le soiree 
•80 

lci s depictions ol people may be 
loosely categorized as follows: rep- 
! u. a ions of the Parisian demi- 
monde in action such as Nana, 1877 
(Collection Kunsthalle, Hamburg), 
Plum, 1878 (?) (Collection Na- 
tional Gallery of Art, Washington, 
DC.) and A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, 
1881-82 (Collection Courtauld Insti- 
tute Galleries, London); psychologi- 
cal portraits of noted luminaries such 
as Portrait of linn le Zola, 1868, and 
Portrait of Clemenceau, 1879-80 
(both Collection Musee d'Orsay, 
Paris); and studies of the female 
countenance, which are most often 
paintings of studio models, students 
and friends. Since the subject of the 
present canvas is unidentified - an 
attribution to the French actress 
Suzanne Reichenberg remains purely 
speculative - it is difficult to deter- 
mine the nature of this portrait. Ex- 
ecuted at approximately the same 
94 time as Nana and Before the Mirror 
(cat. no. A19), it is tempting to view 
Woman in Evening Dress as a portrait 
of Parisian bourgeois fashion, com- 
plete with Japanese fan, rather than as 
a depiction of a specific personality. 
The full-length, vertical format 
resembles contemporaneous society 
portraits by James McNeill Whistler, 
who stressed the harmonic arrange- 
ment of colors over subject matter. 
Though Manet never admitted to 
such practices, many of his critics be- 
lieved that the flat painted surface - 
epitomizing the modernist recogni- 
tion of the two-dimensional reality 
of painting - was more important to 
the artist than the images of 
nineteenth-century bourgeois life he 
was creating. This thesis, while es- 
sentially incorrect when considered 
as the primary motivation behind 
Manet's art, is somewhat substan- 
tiated by passages of rapid, facile 
brushstrokes in the work, which 
threaten to dissolve into decorative 
surface patterns at every turn, (n.s.) 



Oil on 

in 
■ 85.5 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 

1 ust in K Thannhauser 
I T28 




95 



A21 

Pablo I'h 

The End of the Road 

Att Bout Jf la route 

1898 

Picasso -.pent his formative years in 
Barcelona where Catalan modernis- 
mo in general and the artistic activi- 
ties centered around the cafe Els 
Quatre Gats in particular had a deci- 
sive influence. Barcelona's cosmo- 
politan cultural environment made 
accessible the styles of painting and 
decoration then in fashion: the En- 
>h Art Nouveau and Munich's 
Jugendstil. The End of the Road dates 
from 1898-99, before the young art- 
ist had traveled outside of Spain. 
The watercolor shows, from the rear, 
a line of poor and crippled people as 
they proceed down a road. A row of 
carriages moves across the landscape 
to converge with the procession at 
the upper right. There, the winged 
figure of Death carrying a scythe 
waits for them above the walls of a 
cemetery. Years later Picasso re- 
called that "Death waits for all at the 
end of the road, even though the rich 
96 go there in carriages and the poor on 
foot." 1 (v.e.b.) 

1 Quoted in J. Richardson, Pablo Picasso: 
Watercolours and Gouaches, London, 1964, 
p. 16. 



■ h (?) and come crayon on paper 
18'7i6 x 12 ' 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 

Fustil) K. Thannhauser 
78.2514 T33 




97 



A22 

Pablo Picasso 
Le Moulin tic la Galette 
■nnn 1900 

Picasso remembered that Le Moulin 
dc la Galette was the first canvas he 
painted after arriving in Paris in Oc- 
tober 1900 The World's Fair attract- 
ed Picasso and several of his Spanish 
1 1 iends to Paris, but they were back in 
Barcelona for Christmas. 
The Moulin de la Galette was a 
dancing spot at the site of a mill atop 
Montmartre, not far from where 
Picasso stayed. Renoir, van Gogh, 
Toulouse-Lautrec, Theophile- Alexan- 
dre Steinlen and Picasso's Spanish 
friend Ramon Casas had all painted 
there. Picasso's Le Moulin de la 
Galette is reminiscent not only of 
Toulouse-Lautrec but also of the lat- 
ter two artists' work. In this night 
scene Picasso emphasizes the dan- 
cers, who are almost all women, and, 
through the many black tones and 
the shrill colors illuminated by elec- 
tric lights, he creates an unforgetta- 
ble atmosphere. With Le Moulin de 
la Galette the nineteen-year-old 
98 Spaniard captured the excitement of 
an era. (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

34 V* x 45 '/2 in. 

88.2 x 115.5 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

lustin K. Thannhauser 
78 2514 T34 




99 



Pablo Picasso 
The Fourteenth oi July 
\uatorze juillet 

1901 



100 



The nineteen year-old Picasso ex- 
perienced Bastille Day for the first 
time on his second trip to Paris in 

1901 and recorded his impressions in 
this sketch. People sit at outdoor 
c.ile tables in the lower left, looking 
down to the right at an event taking 
place outside the frame. Overlapping 
low buildings, articulated by their 
stepped rooflines, ring the back- 
ground in a shallow half-circle, effec- 
tively limiting further spatial reces- 
sion. The vigorous and expressive 
paint handling is descended from the 
Impressionists and van Gogh, whose 
work greatly influenced Picasso at 
this time; forceful brushwork shat- 
ters the coherence of the picture's 
surface and surges out from the 
center of the composition, where a 
man appears to tumble in an explo- 
sion of color that may represent a 
gaily decorated carriage. Three rudi- 
mentary figures on the right are 
nearly engulfed by this torrent of 
painting. Vivid reds, blues and 
several tones of white predominate, 
overpowering the less assertive flesh- 
tones, greens and the brown of the 
cardboard support, and highlighted 
by notes of bright yellow; the hues of 
the tricolor concentrate in the bunt- 



ing and flags displayed in" the upper 
half of the scene. The artist captured 
the excitement of the festivities on 
the city's streets with the riotous 
color and energy of this picture. 
Picasso has, however, imposed an 
underlying structure on the tumult 
of the observed scene. The broken 
line that separates the crowd and 
street from the relatively lighter 
valued buildings and sky bisects the 
painting horizontally; this demarca- 
tion, accented by the presence of the 
picture's brightest reds, is crossed by 
several more or less emphatic verti- 
cal configurations, including one in 
the center comprising the central 
support of the supposed carriage- 
top, the area between the roofs of 
the buildings above, and the right 
edge of the figure in red below. The 
clearest vertical is that beginning at 
the lower edge in the shirt front of 
the man in the yellow hat and con- 
tinuing in the red pole that rises 
from left center. The composition 
seems to hinge on this pole, bearing 
decorations of French flags and the 
"R.F." monogram of the Republique 
Frangaise, symbols of the country to 
which Picasso would move perma- 
nently in 1904. (j.r.w.) 



Oil on cardboard mounted 
18 7* x 24 '/■< in. 
48x62.8 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

[ustin K Thannhauser 
I T)6 




101 



A24 

Pablo Picasso 

' oco 

/ on au chien 

13-04 

In Barcelona during 1903 and the 
(.ark part of 1904, Picasso made 
several drawings and watercolors of 
the same mendicant figure, probably 
a familiar one on the streets of the 
city. 1 Iere he sits cross-legged on the 
ground with what seem to be his 
only possessions - the small jar and 
the cloth held down by four stones 
to colled alms from passersby. A 
long and anachronistic blue shift 
covers his emaciated frame. His sole 
companion is the equally thin and 
sad looking little dog who lies ex- 
hausted in the man's lap, apparently 
too tired to move. The artist's in- 
scription El loco, which means "the 
madman" in Spanish, affirms the 
visual characterization of the beg- 
gar - sallow skin, scarecrowlike 
hands suspended purposelessly in the 
air before him, wildly unkempt hair 
and beard, vacant expression - and 
establishes him as one of the most 
102 pathetic of all the alienated and 
desolate figures of Picasso's Blue 
Period. (j.R.w.) 



Watercolor on wove paper 
12'7i6x9' 

• 2)2 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

lustin K. Thannhauser 
i T40 



/: 



■ 



* 





^ 



^^ 



<* 



103 



A25 

Pablo Picasso 

Woman Ironing 

La Repasseuse 
L904 

After several earlier visits, Picasso 
went hack to Paris in April 1904 and 
remained there until 1948. He first 
stayed in Montmartre at 13, rue 
Ravignan in the building called the 
" Bateau- Lavoir," where many art- 
ists, including (iris, once lived. The 
large, haunting picture from the 
Thannhauser collection of a woman 
ironing dates from this period. Dau- 
mier and Degas had treated the sub- 
ject before, as had Picasso himself in 
1901. The expressive pose in this 
painting of the frail woman pressing 
down on the iron undoubtedly de- 
rives from Degas's work. 
Woman Ironing still retains some of 
the somber tonality of Picasso's Blue 
Period. Both the neutral colors and 
the tense, angular figure express 
poverty, loneliness and suffering. 
Like Picasso's Old Guitarist (Collec- 
tion The Art Institute of Chicago), 
which was painted in Barcelona in 
104 1903, the woman ironing has one 
shoulder raised in a distorted pose, 
the head lowered and turned to the 
side so that it is seen in profile. The 
model appears in several of Picasso's 
canvases of 1904 and has been iden- 
tified as Margot, the daughter of 
Frede, who owned the cafe Le Lapin 
Agile, which Picasso and his friends 
frequented, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on 

■ 28 J /« in 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 
fork 

lustin K Thannhauser 
I T41 




105 



106 



Pablo Picasso 
Young A< robal and Child 
]eune acrobate ct enfant 
'05 

Late in 1904 Picasso again began 
to paint t lie- harlequins ami saltim- 

banques that had occupied him in 
1901. Often he chose to portray a fa- 
mily or, as here, children. This small 
gouache, executed on gray card- 
board, contains various blues and 
is well as the warm brown and 
pink hues usually associated with the 
Rose Period. In fact, the Rose Peri- 
od (1905) can be defined not so 
much in terms of color as subject 
matter and mood. At that time 
Picasso lived with Fernande Olivier 
in the "Bateau-Lavoir," not far from 
the Cirque Medrano where he went 
frequently and made friends with 
circus people. It was a productive 
period, when Picasso not only drew 
and painted in watercolor and gou- 
ache but also experimented with 
sculpture and printmaking. (v.E.B.) 



Ink and gouache on gray cardboard 

cm. 
i>n R Guggenheim Museum 

1 istin K Thannh i 
• T42 




107 



Pablo Picasso 

I lower-. 
'.'curs 
5-06 

Picasso spent the summer of 1906 in 
the village of Gosol, in the moun- 
tains of northeastern Spain. While 
there he produced a number of still 
lifes with earthenware vessels like 
the small chocolate pot and the solid- 
I\ painted glazed bowl and saucer in 
Still Life: Flowers in a Wise. The red 
ocher and pale pink tonalities that 
dominate this gouache, characteris- 
tic of Picasso's Rose Period, are enliv- 
ened by blooms of yellow and blue, 
and bright red roses. At about the 
time he finished the work, the artist 
scored the surface with both a dull 
instrument and a sharper one. His 
motives for this must remain a mys- 
tery, since Picasso did not complete- 
ly destroy the picture but kept it and 
later exhibited and sold it. It is in- 
teresting to note, however, that the 
scratches are not random but are 
confined largely to the area of the 
mass of flowers and leaves springing 
108 from the two-handled vase; the 
marks do not so much deface the 
work as add an otherwise absent 
graphic dynamism or intensity, much 
like that of the drawing Vase of 
Flowers. 

The pen and ink drawing of flowers 
in a vase may have been made some- 
what earlier than the painting. Its 
style approximates that of van Gogh, 
whose work continued to be of in- 
terest to Picasso. The drawing could 
have been inspired by a van Gogh 
painting of sunflowers that was in- 
cluded in a retrospective in Paris in 
the spring of 1905. Several types of 
marks - heavy dashes, lighter com- 
malike strokes, crosshatching and 
outlining - make up the forms and 
areas of light and shade, and, 
together with the writhing of the 
flowers on their stems, give an im- 
pression of great animation to the 
still life, (j.r.w.) 



India ink on wove paper 
■ in. 
• 19.7 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 

[uscin K Thannhauser 
I T43 




109 



A28 

Picasso 
Still Life: Flowers in a Vase 

ure morte: fleun dans un vase 
L906 



110 



Gouache on cardboard 
22 in. 
55.9 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

fusrin K Thannhauser 
I T44 




Ill 



isso 
.in with ( )pen Fan 
titail 



112 



Both drawings were executed in the 
same year but differ radically in 

theme and technique, confirming the 
immense diversity of Picasso's work 
ontinued throughout his life. 
Woman with Open Fan is a realistic 
and straightforward bust-length por- 
trait of a female whose identity is 
unknown. She gazes out at the spec- 
tator with a serene yet reserved look 
on her face. Her hair is pulled back 
neatly and her dress is modest, but- 
toned up to the neck and studded at 
the top with a simple round pin. The 
woman turns her head slightly to the 
left, and holds an outspread fan 
across her breast demurely, which 
adds to her air of inaccessibility. 
Picasso's stroke in the drawing is 
sure but not aggressive. The subject 
is lit from the right, casting the left 
side of her face, neck and shoulder in 
shadow, which the artist indicates 
by a series of strokes of the pen, 
concentrated most densely in her 
face. The woman's dark hair is simi- 
larly depicted and follows the curve 
of her head. The fan is very sketchily 
drawn. The touch throughout the 
drawing is light and refined, as the 
lady herself, in her bearing, seems 
to be. 

In contrast, Woman and Devil is a 
study of seduction in allegorical 
form. Unlike the previous work, it is 
executed not with a gentle sureness, 
but with bold aggression. The theme 
hearkens back to the original biblical 



version of Eve and the devil, but 
Picasso portrays it with a contem- 
porary twist. The woman can cer- 
tainly be considered an Eve type, 
with her youthful, nude body, long, 
rippling tresses, and the look of both 
innocence and curiosity on her face. 
She also shows apprehension in the 
way she draws her arms behind her 
back, as the devil forcefully offers her 
a bouquet of flowers. In contrast to 
the woman, the devil is fully clothed. 
He appears as an old spindly figure 
wearing spectacles with horns sprout- 
ing from his head. He is dressed in a 
fitted black suit with white shirt, and 
carries a top hat and cane, typical 
Parisian dandy attire at the time the 
drawing was executed. Picasso uses 
ink not only for outline, but also to 
create very dense areas of black, as in 
the hair and eye sockets of the wom- 
an, and the solid black of the devil's 
suit. In Woman and Devil we may 
conclude that Picasso was addressing 
an age-old theme with a contem- 
porary allusion: that of the innocent 
young woman being seduced by an 
older, more worldly dandy. 
While Woman with Open Fan is a 
character study of restraint and 
refinement drawn from real life, 
Woman with Devil is an imaginary 
study of seduction that borders on 
the grotesque. Together they attest 
to the variety of issues with which 
Picasso was preoccupied in 1906. 
(D.Mc.) 



Ink on wove paper 
6 7<x ■»'/"• in. 

: 1 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 

' i ist in K Thannhauser 
I T45 




113 



Picasso 

Woman and Devil 
. me ct diable 



114 



India ink on laid paper 
12'/k*9 7h in. 
23.2 cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

Vork 

I istm K Thannhauser 




115 



A31 

Piei te Renoir 

Woman with Parrot 
tmme a la perruche 

The woman holding the parrot is 
Renoir's friend Lise Trehot 11848- 
1922), whose pretty, youthful fea- 
tures are recognizable in other can- 
vases the artist painted between 
1867 and 1872. He probably execut- 
ed this picture soon after his return 
from service in the Franco-Prussian 
War in March 1871 and certainly be- 
fore Lise married someone else in 
April 1872, evidently never to see 
Renoir again. The black silk dress 
with white cuffs and red sash accen- 
tuate Lise's dark hair and white skin; 
the dark green walls and plants sug- 
gest a rather heavy and formal inte- 
rior decorated in the Second Em- 
pire style. 

The subject of a woman holding a 
parrot appears in works from the 
1860s by Courbet, Manet and De- 
gas. The formal, static composition 
and the representation of spatial 
depth and traditional modeling in 
1 16 Renoir's painting are consistent with 
his pictures from the late sixties and 
early seventies. Woman with Parrot 
clearly predates Renoir's Impres- 
sionist style and does not yet reflect 
the high-keyed tonality, shimmering 
patterns of light and spontaneity of 
mood that would characterize his 
later work. (v.E.B.) 



Oil on canvas 
J6V4X25'/" in 
65.1 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

lustin K Thannhauser 

) T68 




117 



118 



A32 

Pierre Auguste Renoir 

Still I ife: Rowers 

Nature morte: fleun 

1885 

During the decade of the 1880s, 
i reevaluated Ins commitment 
to Impressionist theory and painting 
technique. He now found the tran- 
sient effects ol light and atmosphere 
ot Ins earlier plein-air painting to be 
an impediment rather than an inspi- 
ration. As a consequence, he often 
finished his landscapes in the more 
stable light of the studio, and he 
turned increased attention to sub- 
jects over which he could exercise 
greater artistic control: figure studies 
and still lifes. 

In the ordinary motifs of still life, 
Renoir discovered a world of pictori- 
al possibility. Encouraged by his 
travel to Italy in 1881-82 and by his 
study of traditional painting tech- 
nique (particularly that of Jean- 
Auguste-Dominique Ingres), Renoir 
reconsidered the role of line and the 
relationship of color to contour. 
Moreover, his friendship with 
Cezanne led him to explore unusual 
spatial structure as well as a style of 
brushwork that could lend greater 
coherency to the picture surface. 
Renoir had worked at Cezanne's side 
at L'Estaque in 1882, and 1885 
brought the two artists together once 
again at La Roche-Guyon. Although 
we cannot be sure whether the 
present still life was painted at the 
time of Cezanne's visit, the impact 
of his work is evident. The influence 
of Cezanne's characteristic "con- 
structive" brushwork can be seen 
in areas of the table where Renoir 
laid down strokes in parallel horizon- 
tal and diagonal lines. Similarly, 
Cezanne's still lifes of the same peri- 
od clearly inform both Renoir's jux- 
taposition of the organic forms of 
the bouquet with the geometrically 
patterned backdrop, and the crop- 
ping of the table at its left edge and 
along the frontal face, where the 



handle of the drawer is abruptly 
sliced in two. Perhaps the most in- 
triguing aspect of Renoir's response 
to Cezanne rests in the subtle am- 
biguities of the composition. It is un- 
clear whether the table's left edge 
appears at the left extremity of the 
horizontal planks, or whether, ex- 
tended by an additional board, it 
continues to meet the wall, filling 
the corner of the room. Elsewhere, 
at the back right edge of the table, 
two boards elide in a single painterly 
surface. 

Such deliberate ambiguity reflects 
Renoir's struggle to reconcile the 
representation of form in space with 
the perceptual truths gleaned by an 
Impressionist's eye. A disjunction of 
painterly treatment also character- 
izes much of his other work of this 
period, as in The Bather, 1885 (Ster- 
ling and Francine Clark Art Insti- 
tute, Williamstown, Massachusetts), 
in which Renoir imposes a thickly 
painted and flatly modeled figure on 
a delicate, atmospheric ground. 
Similarly, the densely painted flow- 
ers of the present bouquet assert 
their weighty presence against the 
more carefully smoothed surface and 
the summarized forms of the pat- 
terned wall. Renoir intensifies this 
contrast through a shift in palette 
from the bright and distinct hues of 
salmon, tangerine, saffron and green 
of the blossoms to the more muted 
pastel blues, yellows and greens in 
the background which merge in sub- 
tle harmony. Color, texture and pat- 
tern here fuse in the exuberant, if 
somewhat uneasy, synthesis of an art- 
ist seeking new solutions after he 
had, in his own words, "reached the 
end of Impressionism." 1 (e.c.c.) 

1 Quoted in Renoir, exh. cat., London, 1985, 
p. 241. 



Oil on i 
J2'/«x25 /■ 
• 65.8 cm 

K Guggenheim Museum 
York 

K Tliannhauser 
; T70 




119 



tlla 
Speed + Sound 
astratta * rumore 
L913-14 

In late 1912 to early 1913 Balla 
turned Irom a depiction of the splin- 
tering of light to the exploration of 
movement and, more specifically, 
the speed of racing automobiles. 
lh is led to an important series of 
studies in 1913-14. The choice of au- 
tomobile as symbol of abstract speed 
recalls Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's 
notorious statement in his first 
Futurist manifesto, published on 
February 20, 1909, in Le Figaro, only 
a decade after the first Italian car 
was manufactured: "...the world's 
splendor has been enriched by a new 
beauty: the beauty of speed... A 
roaring automobile... that seems to 
run on shrapnel, is more beautiful 
than the Victory of Samothrace." 
It has been proposed that Abstract 
Speed + Sound was the central section 
of a narrative triptych suggesting the 
alteration of landscape by the pas- 
sage of a car through the atmos- 

122 phere. 1 The related Abstract Speed 1909-1919 

(present whereabouts unknown; for- 
merly Collection Dr. W. Loeffler, 
Zurich) and Abstract Speed-Tbe Car 
Has Passed (Collection Tate Gallery, 
London) would have been the flank- 
ing panels. Indications of sky and a 
single landscape are present in the 
three paintings; the interpretation of 
fragmented evocations of the car's 
speed varies from panel to panel. 
The Peggy Guggenheim work is dis- 
tinguished by crisscross motifs 
representing sound and a multiplica- 
tion of the number of lines and 
planes. 

The original frames of all three 
panels were painted with continua- 
tions of the forms and colors of the 
compositions, implying the overflow 
of the paintings' reality into the 
spectator's own space. Many other 
studies and variations by Balla on 
the theme of a moving automobile in 
the same landscape exist, (l.f.) 

1 V. Dortch Dorazio, Giacomo Balk: An Al- 
bum of His Life and Work, New York, 1969, 
2-4. See also Rudenstine, pp. 92-93, where 
all three panels are reproduced. 



Hoard in artist's painted frame 
Uection 




123 



2 

Constantin Brancusi 

Maiastra 
1912(?) 

According to Brancusi's own tes- 
timony, his preoccupation with the 
image of the bird as a plastic form 
began as early as 1910. With the 
theme of the Maiastra in the early 
teens he initiated a series of about 
thirty sculptures of birds. 
The word "maiastra" means "master" 
or "chief" in Brancusi's native Ru- 
manian, but the title refers specifi- 
cally to a magically beneficent, daz- 
zlingly plumed bird in Rumanian 
folklore. Brancusi's mystical inclina- 
tions and his deeply rooted interest 
in peasant superstition make the mo- 
tif an apt one. The golden plumage 
of the Maiastra is expressed in the 
reflective surface of the bronze; the 
bird's restorative song seems to issue 
from within the monumental puffed 
chest, through the arched neck, out 
of the open beak. The heraldic, geo- 
metric aspect of the figure contrasts 
with details such as the inconsistent 
size of the eyes, the distortion of the 
124 beak aperture and the cocking of the 
head slightly to one side. The eleva- 
tion of the bird on a saw-tooth base 
lends it the illusion of perching. The 
subtle tapering of form, the relation- 
ship of curved to hard-edge surfaces 
and the changes of axis tune the 
sculpture so finely that the slightest 
alteration from version to version 
reflects a crucial decision in Brancu- 
si's development of the theme. 
Seven other versions of Maiastra 
have been identified and located: 
three are marble and four bronze. 
The Peggy Guggenheim example ap- 
parently was cast from a reworked 
plaster (now lost but visible in a 
1955 photograph of Brancusi's stu- 
dio). 1 This was probably also the 
source for the almost identical cast in 
the collection of the Des Moines Art 
Center, (l.f.) 

1 Repr. A. Spear, Brancusi's Birds, New York, 
1969, p. 55. 



Polished brass 

mi (62 cm.) high, on stone base 
J»/l« in. HA.2 cm.) high 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
76 2553 PG 50 




125 



tantin Brancusi 
The Muse 
/ d Muse 



126 



Though initially Jrawn to Auguste 
Rodin's sculptural transgressions of 
nineteenth-century aesthetic conven- 
tion, Brancusi eventually rejected 
the French master's emphasis on 
theatricality and accumulation of de- 
tail m ravor of radical simplification 
and abbreviation. Brancusi felt he 
was vindicated in his pursuit of 
sculptural immediacy when he en- 
countered Gauguin's primitivistic 
carvings in the artist's retrospective 
at the Salon d'Automne in 1906. 
The practice of taille directe, or 
direct carving, adopted by Brancusi 
as well as by Picasso, Braque and 
Andre Derain after Gauguin's exam- 
ple, fostered an engagement with the 
material, eliminated work from a 
model and promoted an abstract sen- 
sibility. In early sculptures executed 
through direct carving - such as The 
Kiss (Collection Muzeul de Arta, 
Craiova, Rumania) - Brancusi sup- 
pressed all decorative detail in an ef- 
fort to create pure and resonant 
forms. His goal was to capture the 
essence of his subject and to render 
it visible with minimal formal means. 
While Brancusi's sculptures reflect 
empirical reality, they also explore 
inner states of being. The human 



head, a favorite motif of Brancusi, is 
often depicted separate 'from the 
body as a unitary ovoid shape. When 
placed on its side, it evokes images of 
sleep. Other streamlined oval heads 
such as Prometheus (Collection Phi- 
ladelphia Museum of Art) and The 
Newborn (Collection Musee Nation- 
al d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges 
Pompidou, Paris) - whose shapes 
recall Indian fertility sculptures - 
suggest the miracle of creation. 
Brancusi's marble The Muse is a sub- 
tle monument to the aesthetic act 
and to the myth of Woman as its in- 
spiration. The finely chiseled head - 
executed in a highly refined version 
of Brancusi's direct carving tech- 
nique - is poised atop a sinuous 
neck, the rightward curve of which is 
counterbalanced by a fragmentary 
arm pressed against the cheek. The 
facial features, although barely artic- 
ulated, embody classical beauty. As 
in the sculptor's Mademoiselle 1, also 
of 1912 (Collection Philadelphia 
Museum of Art), the subject's hair is 
coiffed in a bun at the base of the 
neck. While Mademoiselle I is the im- 
age of a particular woman, The Muse, 
although linked to portraiture, is the 
embodiment of an idea, (n.s.) 



Marble 
17'/ix9 l /j • H m 

• 20.3 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 




127 



4 

I reorges Braque 

Piano and Mandola 

Piano et mandore 

1909-10 

The companion pictures Violin and 
Palette and Piano and Mandola, 
painted during the winter of 1909- 
10, are classic examples of the early 
phase of Cubism. In both canvases, 
the objects represented are readily 
identifiable although their shapes 
have been fragmented. Braque stat- 
ed that this fragmentation permitted 
him "to establish a spatial element as 
well as a spatial movement." He also 
remarked that he chose to paint mu- 
sical instruments not only because he 
was surrounded by them in his stu- 
dio but because he was "working 
towards a tactile space... and musical 
instruments have the advantage of 
being animated by one's touch." 1 
Both still lifes exist in rather shallow 
space, and the forms are rendered 
with neutral colors, predominantly 
greens and browns. By limiting the 
pictorial element through the use of 
a subdued palette, Braque and Picas- 
128 so concentrated on a new conception 
of space, on the disintegration of ob- 
jects into faceted planes and other 
essentially formal problems of Ana- 
lytic Cubism, (v.e.b.) 

1 D. Vallier, "Braque, la peinture et nous," 
Cahien d'Art, XXIX e annee, October 1954, 
p. 16. 



Oil on canvas 
36 '/hx 16 7- >n 
91.7*42.8 cm. 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 
•M 1411 




129 



i aque 
Violm and Palette 
Ion ct palette 
10 



130 



Oil on canvas 

■ 16</h in 
42.8 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

Vork 
54.1412 




131 



132 



6 

tagall 

The Soldier Drinks 
Le Soldat boit 

vn\-\2 

The Soldier Drinks demonstrates a 
definite Cubist influence in the 
translation of volumes into planes 
and the subsequent shallowness of 
the picture space. Furthermore, the 
strong horizontals, verticals and di- 
agonals, the importance of a large- 
scale human figure and the emphasis 
on rhythmic gestures and details are 
characteristic of Chagall's work 
around 1912. 

The soldier, who appears in uniform 
drinking tea, is juxtaposed with a 
samovar and small figures dancing in 
the foreground. The picture clearly 
evokes memories of Russia, although 
it was painted in Paris where Chagall 
had been since the late summer of 
1910. It was not Chagall's intention 
to represent the world literally or 
logically or to portray the reality of 
everyday life. Rather, his interests 
lay in the poetic and irrational realm 
of the imagination, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 
\A in. 
• cm 
.on R Guggenheim Museum 




133 



134 



7 

Man. Chagall 

Paris Through the Window 

Paris par la fenStre 

1913 

While Paris Through the Window was 
painted in Paris, it does not 
represent what Chagall could see 
from his studio. Imaginary indoor 
and outdoor views are inseparably 
joined on the canvas. The Eiffel 
Tower, an image also favored by the 
artist's friends Robert Delaunay and 
Blaise Cendrars, stands as a meta- 
phor for Paris. The parachutist, the 
cat with a human head, the double- 
headed man, the upside-down train, 
the couple promenading sideways 
belong to the Paris of Chagall's fan- 
tasy. By destroying logical reality 
Chagall has created a larger psychic 
reality, for he sought to "construire 
psychiquemcnt un tableau" ("to con- 
struct a painting according to psy- 
chological considerations"). 1 (v.e.b.) 

1 Conversation with Margit Rowell, February 
1974. 



Oil on canvas 
53'/2x 55 »/< in. 
135.8 x 141.4 cm. 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 

3 'lomon R. Guggenheim 




135 



136 



8 

Marc Chagall 

The Flying Carriage 

La Caleche volante 

L913 

Although this painting has often 
been called Burning House, Chagall 
himself considers the title The Flying 
Carriage to be correct and has stated 
that the house is not burning. 
"There is great ecstasy... It is 
calm." 1 On the left the flying car- 
riage is boldly silhouetted against 
yellow; on the right the woman in 
the background has raised her arm in 
response to the scene. A fiery orange 
red sky augments the ecstatic, almost 
apocalyptic mood. The inscription 
over the door to the house is lav for 
lavka (boutique). The building 
functions compositionally to stabi- 
lize seemingly disparate elements 
which are unified also by Chagall's 
intense, vibrant colors, (v.e.b.) 



1 Conversation with Margit Rowell, February 
1974. 



Oil on canvas 

42 x 47 '/4 in. 

106.7 x 120.1 cm 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

49 1212 




137 



le Chirico 
The Red Tower 
/ a Tour rouge 
L913 

De Chirico's enigmatic works of 
1911 to 1917 provided a crucial in- 
spiration for the Surrealist painters. 
The dreamlike atmosphere of his 
compositions results from irrational 
perspective, the lack of a unified 
light source, the elongation of 
shadows and a hallucinatory focus on 
objects. Italian piazzas bounded by 
arcades or classical facades are trans- 
lo nned into ominously silent and va- 
cant settings for invisible dramas. 
The absence of event provokes a 
nostalgic or melancholy mood if one 
senses the wake of a momentous in- 
cident; if one feels the imminence of 
an act, a feeling of anxiety ensues. 
De Chirico remarked that "every ob- 
ject has two appearances: one, the 
current one, which we nearly always 
see and which is seen by people in 
general; the other, a spectral or 
metaphysical appearance beheld only 
by some individuals in moments of 
138 clairvoyance and metaphysical ab- 
straction, as in the case of certain 
bodies concealed by substances im- 
penetrable by sunlight yet discerni- 
ble, for instance, by X-ray or other 
powerful artificial means." 1 Traces 
of concealed human presences ap- 
pear in the fraught expanse of this 
work. One is the partly concealed 
equestrian monument often identi- 
fied as Carlo Marochetti's 1861 
statue of King Carlo Alberto in Tu- 
rin, 2 which also appears in the back- 
ground of de Chirico's The Departure 
of the Poet of 1914 (Private Collec- 
tion). In addition, in the left fore- 
ground overpainting barely conceals 
two figures (or statues?), one of 
which resembles a shrouded mytho- 
logical hero by the nineteenth- 
century Swiss painter Bocklin. The 
true protagonist, however, is the 
crenellated tower; in its imposing 
centrality and rotundity it conveys a 
virile energy that fills the pictorial 
space, (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in W. Rubin, "De Chirico and 
Modernism," De Chirico, exh. cat., New York, 
1982, p. 57. 

2 J.T. Soby, De Chirico, exh. cat., New York, 
1955, pp. 49-50. 



76.25 




139 



LO 

( riorgii i de ( ihirico 

The Nostalgia of the Poet 

/ a Nostalgic du poite 

1914 

This work belongs to a series of 
paintings oi I'M 4 on the subject of 
the poet, the best known of which is 
the Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire 

(Collection Musee National d'Art 
Moderne, Centre Georges Pom- 
pidou, Paris). 1 Recurrent motifs in 
the sequence are the plaster bust 
with dark glasses, the mannikin and 
i he fish mold on an obelisk. These 
objects, bearing no evident relation- 
ships to one another, are compressed 
here into a narrow vertical format 
that creates a claustrophobic and 
enigmatic space. 

As in The Red Tower (cat. no. 9), the 
use of inanimate forms imitating or 
alluding to human beings has com- 
plex ramifications. The sculpture at 
the lower left is a painted representa- 
tion of a plaster cast from a stone, 
marble or metal bust by an imagi- 
nary, or at present unidentified, 
sculptor. The character portrayed 
140 could be mythological, historical, 
symbolical or fictional. The fish is a 
charcoal drawing of a metal mold 
that could produce a baked "cast" of 
a lish made with an actual fish. The 
fish has additional connotations as a 
religious symbol, and the hooklike 
graphic sign toward which its gaping 
mouth is directed has its own cryptic 
allusiveness. The mannikin is a sim- 
plified cloth cast of a human figure - 
a mold on which clothing is shaped 
to conform to the contours of a per- 
son. Each object, though treated as 
solid and static, dissolves in multiple 
significations and paradoxes. Such 
amalgams of elusive meaning in de 
Chirico's strangely intense objects 
compelled the attention of the Sur- 
realists, (l.f.) 

R< pi Rudenstine, 1985, p. 162. 



L6 in. 
cm 




141 



11 

Robert Delaunay 
s.uni S6verin No. * 
190! 

Robert Delaunay executed seven 
large oils and numerous drawings of 
the church ol Saint-Severin in 1909- 
10: the first instance ol a scries in his 
work. The Gothic Church, located 
in rue des Pretres Saint-Severin in 
Paris, interested the young artist, 
who painted the canvases in his near- 
by studio. Like the other versions, 
Saint-Severin No. 3 represents the 
fifteenth-century ambulatory with 
its curved vaults, Gothic arches and 
stained-glass windows. Delaunay 
chose a view that enabled him to 
depict tipping arches and bulging 
columns at the point where the am- 
bulatory curves around the choir 
and, in addition, permitted him to 
paint colors modified by the light 
emanating from the stained-glass 
windows. The monochromatic color 
of the Guggenheim's picture appears 
related to Cezanne's work. In fact, 
Delaunay spoke of the Saint-Severin 
motif as occurring in "a period of 
142 transition from Cezanne to Cubism, 
or rather from Cezanne to the Win- 
dows." ' (v.e.b.) 

1 R. Delaunay, Du Cubisme a fart abstrait, ed. 
I' Francastel, Paris, 1957, pp. 86-87. 



Oil on i 

•15 * 34 

114 .1 x 88.6 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New \ 

n R. Guggenheim 




143 



12 

Robert Delaunay 

el Tower 
To; 
1911 

instructed in 1889 as a symbol of 
technological advancement, the Eif- 
lel Tower captured the attention of 
painters and poets attempting to 
define the essence of modernity 
in their work. Delaunay's obsession 
with the tower resulted in at least 
thirty completed paintings repre- 
senting the radical yet graceful iron 
edifice. According to the poet Blaise 
Cendrars, Delaunay made fifty-one 
attempts to depict the tower in 1911 
before arriving at an acceptable solu- 
tion. 1 "Delaunay," explained Cen- 
drars, "wanted to interpret [the tow- 
er] plastically. He succeeded at last 
with his world-famous picture. He 
disarticulated the tower in order to 
get inside its structure. He truncated 
it and tilted it in order to disclose all 
of its three hundred dizzying meters 
of height." 2 

The pictorial vocabulary with which 
Delaunay rendered the Eiffel Tower 
144 from several simultaneous perspec- 
tives is essentially Cubist. In the 
present canvas, the shifting, frag- 
mented forms of the tower and the 
buildings surrounding it implode, as 
it were, to create an allover pattern 
of interconnected planes. However, 
the emphasis here is not entirely on 
the interplay of various architectural 
constructions viewed from multiple 
vantage points, but also on the effect 
of atmospheric light upon the city of 
Paris. Delaunay's Eiffel Tower series 
marks a transition from his semimi- 
metic representations of the urban 
environment to abstractions based 
on color spectrum analysis. Accord- 
ing to Guillaume Apollinaire, these 
latter works belonged to a new aes- 
thetic category, which he called Or- 
phism. (n.S.) 

1 B. Cendrars, "The Eiffel Tower," in The 
New Art of Color. The Writings of Sonia and 
Robert Delaunay, ed. A. Cohen, New York, 
1978, p. 174. 

2 Ibid., p. 175. 



Oil on I 

79 '/> x 54 '/2 in. 

202 x 138.4 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 

5 'lomon R. Guggenheim 




145 



fk {cut im. 



■i cUMu^rjouf rft* 



13 

Robert Delaunay 

The 

1911 

The composition of The City appar- 
ently was derived from a photograph 
Delaunay had that showed the Eiffel 
Tower from the southwest corner of 
the top of the Arc de Triomphe. 
Nevertheless, Delaunay added the 
lateral curtains he often used. With 
the exception of the curtain folds 
Iraming either side, the painting is 
situated in slight but undefined 
depth. The picture demonstrates 
Delaunay's rapprochement with Cu- 
bism - in particular, the close-valued 
color scheme partakes of Cubist 
chromatic austerity. However, un- 
like Braque's and Picasso's Cubism - 
an essentially graphic form of expres- 
sion - drawing plays no role in 
Delaunay's painting; instead light 
and its effect on color are determin- 
ing compositional factors. In order 
to achieve the fragmented modula- 
tion of the field, Delaunay used a 
mosaic-like pointillist technique he 
146 had practiced earlier under the in- 
fluence of the Neo-Impressionists 
Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond 
Cross, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

• 44 '/2 in. 
cm. 
ion R. Guggenheim Museum 

5 lomon R. Guggenheim 




147 



148 



14 

Robert Delaunay 

Red Eiffel Tower 

La Tour rouge 

1911-12 

The structure in Red Eiffel Tower ap- 
pears more rigidly upright than that 
in the earlier Eiffel Tower (cat. no. 
12). This is accentuated by the way 
Delaunay reduces the number of 
vantage points from which it is seen. 
The huge structure is emphatically 
red and thus more colorful than in 
reality. Delaunay uses the color to 
differentiate the tower from the sur- 
rounding light and to sustain its up- 
ward thrust. In the Red Eiffel Tower 
he emphasizes the radiant light 
streaming down on the tower rather 
than the iron girders with which it is 
constructed. To Delaunay the Eiffel 
Tower was ambitious, monumental 
and aggressively modern: a symbol 
of the modern world, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 
49 7<* 35'/, in 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 

■ 




149 



15 

Robert Delaunay 

Windows Open Simultaneously 

(1st Part, 3rd Motif) 

/ cietres ouvertes simultanement 

(lire partie, 3e motif) 

1912 

Though Delaunay had virtually dis- 
carded representational imagery by 
the spring of 1912 when he em- 
barked on the Windows theme, ves- 
tigial objects endure in this series. 
Here, as in Simultaneous Windows 
2nd Motif, 1st Part (Collection Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim Museum) of 
the same moment, the centralized 
ghost of a green Eiffel Tower alludes 
to his enthusiasm for modern life. 
Analytic Cubism inspired Delau- 
nay's fragmentation of form, oval 
format and organization of the pic- 
ture's space as a grid supporting in- 
tersecting planes. However, unlike 
the monochromatic, tactile planes of 
Cubism, those of Delaunay are not 
defined by line and modeling, but by 
the application of diaphanous, pris- 
matic color. Delaunay wrote in 
1913: "Line is limitation. Color 
150 gives depth - not perspectival, not 
successive, but simultaneous depth - 
as well as form and movement." : As 
in visual perception of the real 
world, perception of Delaunay 's 
painting is initially fragmentary, the 
eye continually moving from one 
form to others related by hue, value, 
tone, shape or direction. As focus 
shifts, expands, jumps and contracts 
in unending rhythms, one senses the 
fixed borders of the canvas and the 
tight interlocking of its contents. Be- 
cause identification of representa- 
tional forms is not necessary while 
the eye moves restlessly, judgments 
about the relative importance of 
parts are not made and all elements 
can be perceived as equally signifi- 
cant. The harmony of the pictorial 
reality provides an analogy to the 
concealed harmony of the world. At 
the left of the canvas Delaunay sug- 
gests glass, which, like his chromatic 
planes, is at once transparent, reflec- 
tive, insubstantial and solid. Glass 
may allude as well to the metaphor of 
art as a window on reality, (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in D. Cooper, The Cubist Epoch, 
London, 1971, p. 84. 



Oil on canvas (oval) 
22 J /8x48 J /» in 

57 x 123 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.2553 PG 36 




\ 




151 



16 

Marcel Duchamp 

Nude (Study), Sad Young Man 

on a Train 

Nu (esquisse), jeune homme 

triste dans un train 

1911-12 

This painting, which Duchamp iden- 
tified as a self-portrait, was probably 
begun during December of 1911 in 
Neuilly, while he was exploring ideas 
for the controversial Nude Descend- 
ing a Staircase, No. 2 of 1912 (Collec- 
tion Philadelphia Museum of Art). 1 
In Nude (Study), Sad Young Man on a 
Train his transitory though acute in- 
terest in Cubism is manifested in the 
subdued palette, emphasis on the 
flat surface of the picture plane and 
in the subordination of representa- 
tional fidelity to the demands of the 
abstract composition. 
Duchamp's primary concern in this 
painting is the depiction of two 
movements, that of the train in 
which we observe the young man 
smoking, and that of the lurching 
figure itself. The forward motion of 
the train is suggested by the multipli- 
152 cation of the lines and volumes of 
the figure, a semitransparent form 
through which we can see windows, 
themselves transparent and presuma- 
bly presenting a blurred, "moving" 
landscape. The independent side- 
ways motion of the figure is re- 
presented by a directionally con- 
trary series of repetitions. These two 
series of replications suggest the mul- 
tiple images of chronophotography, 
which Duchamp acknowledged as an 
influence, and the related ideas of 
the Italian Futurists, of which he 
was at least aware by this time. Here 
he uses the device not only to illus- 
trate movement, but also to inte- 
grate the young man with his murky 
surroundings, which with his sway- 
ing, drooping pose contribute to the 
air of melancholy. Shortly after the 
execution of this and similar works, 
Duchamp lost interest in Cubism 
and developed his eccentric vocabu- 
lary of mechanomorphic elements 
that foreshadowed aspects of Dada. 
(L.F.) 

1 See Rudenstine, 1985, pp. 265-266. 



Oil on cardboard 

J9 j /b * 28 '/■< in. 

100x73 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.255) PG 9 




153 



17 

Raymond Duchamp- Villon 

Maggy 

Tite de Maggy 

1912 

The sitter, Maggy, was the wife of 
Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, the 
Surrealist poet and painter who ap- 
parently met the artist in 1909 and 
was a frequent visitor to Puteaux. 
Duchamp-Villon has accentuated her 
prominent features to the point of 
caricature. The absence of modeling, 
surface texture, realistic detail and 
psychological interpretation is im- 
mediately apparent. Instead, the em- 
phasis is on essential volumes and 
their formal relationships. Close in 
style to the sculptor's head of 
Baudelaire of 1911, Maggy displays to 
an even greater degree the process of 
reduction and redefinition. The dis- 
tinctive cylindrical neck, bulging 
forehead, deep ridges of the eye- 
brows and cheeks in Maggy can 
be discerned in incipient form in 
Baudelaire. In the distortion of facial 
features and the Cubist sense of 
structure, Maggy bears a decided 
154 resemblance to Matisse's bronzes of 
jeannette, particularly the third and 
fourth versions which date from the 
spring and autumn of 1911. 
The plaster head of Maggy (Estate of 
the artist) has been dated 1912 since 
it was first exhibited in 1914 at the 
Galerie Andre Groult in Paris. 
Other bronze casts of Maggy are in 
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculp- 
ture Garden in Washington, D.C., 
and the Musee National d'Art Mo- 
derne, Centre Georges Pompidou in 
Paris, (v.e.b.) 



Bronze 

29 '/;« U'/sx 16 in. 

74x87.9x40.6 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

57. HM 




155 



IX 

Albert ( ■ It-izes 

Portrait (Head in a Landscape) 

TSte d'homme 

1912-13 

As in oilier paintings dating from 
this period, Gleizes here investigates 
the- Cubist idiom that he initially en- 
countered in the experimental works 
of Picasso and Braque. Along with 
Metzinger, Leger, Le Fauconnier 
and the Duchamp brothers, Gleizes 
adopted an essentially Cubist vocab- 
ulary as the means through which to 
ilize his vision of an abstract, Uto- 
pian painting. But rather than dis- 
solving his subject matter into a suc- 
cession of tiny fragmented planes - 
as Picasso and Braque did - Gleizes 
constructed his imagery from a series 
of geometricizing forms. Instead of 
dissecting a given entity, he assem- 
bled it volume trically. 
In this canvas the head is fashioned 
from a number of intersecting planes 
that extend outward, merging into 
the background in a typically Cubist 
manner. The boldly delineated face, 
complete with cleft chin, is thought 
156 to be a self-portrait. 1 (n.s.) 

1 Rudenstine, 1976. p. 144. 



1 ill .hi canvas 

37.6 x 50.4 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

The I lilla Rebav Collection 

imi 




157 



19 

Albert ( ileizes 

Portrait ot an Army Doctor 

Portrait dun medecin militaire 

1914-15 

During Gleizes's year of military 
service at Toul in France in World 
War I, he was able to continue paint- 
ing. The sitter in Portrait of an Army 
Doctor is Dr. Lambert, a surgeon at- 
tached to Gleizes's regiment who had 
taught at the University of Nancy. 
All but one of the eight surviving 
studies for the portrait are in the 
Guggenheim Museum collection. 1 
In the painting Gleizes has carefully 
arranged the intersecting diagonals 
and has created circular areas to 
delineate the figure while focusing 
on the surgeon's white clothing and 
his dark hair, eyebrows and 
mustache. Related in style and con- 
ception to the Portrait of Igor 
Stravinsky, 1914, Portrait of an Army 
Doctor gives a dignified, sober im- 
pression of the subject but does not 
explicitly identify his profession. 
(v.e.b.) 

158 ' See Rudenstine, 1976, pp. 146- 1-17 



Oil on canvas 
47 V-t x 37 '/a .n 
■ 95 1 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 
Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim 




159 



160 



20 

Natalia Goncharova 

Koshki; Les Chats 

Goncharova's painting reveals an 
understanding of Futurism and Cub- 
ism. In Cats the forms are repre- 
sented with faceted planes and the 
by lines of color. The lines of 
force emanating from objects convey 
movement and give structure to the 
composition. A fine example of Gon- 
charova's Rayonist work, Cats dis- 
plays the glowing colors and bold de- 
sign characteristic of her style. Gon- 
charova was fascinated with Russian 
folk tales and folk art, and her 
knowledge of native Russian de- 
signs, embroideries and icons is 
reflected in her painting. In March 
1912 Goncharova together with 
Larionov, Malevich and Vladimir 
Tatlin organized the Donkey's Tail 
exhibition in Moscow to promote 
their distinctly Russian school of 
modernism. Goncharova's peasant 
pictures exerted a decisive influence 
on Malevich's development, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

5)74 x n in 

84.4 x 83.8 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

57.1484 




161 



Juan Gris 
1 louses in Paris 
Maisom a Paris 
1911 

This urban landscape dates from 
1911, when Gris lived in Mont 
mart re in Paris. Soon alter his arrival 
there irom Madrid in 1906 he set- 
tled at 13, rue Ravignan, in the 
building called the "Bateau-Lavoir," 
where his compatriot Picasso also 
lived. Although Braque and Picasso 
were his friends, Gris was by no 
means their follower. His stylistic 
development evolved toward Cu- 
bism in an individual manner and 
revealed the influence of Cezanne. 
He painted his first oils in 1911. At 
that time Gris had his studio on the 
first floor of the Bateau-Lavoir, 
overlooking place Ravignan (now 
place Emile Goudeau), and Houses in 
Paris may well represent the sur- 
rounding area. 1 

The Guggenheim picture reflects 
this early moment in Gris's Cubism 
in the slight flattening of the build- 
ing, the tilted angle at which ar- 
162 chitectural elements are presented, 
in the emphasis on line as an integral 
part of the design and in the gray to- 
nality which incorporates subtle 
shades of blue, green and pink. 
Related works showing buildings in 
Paris include an oil, Houses in Paris, 
in the Sprengel Collection, Han- 
nover, and a drawing in The Muse- 
um of Modern Art, New York, Joan 
and Lester Avnet Collection, (v.e.b.) 

' First observed bv Rudenstine. See Ruden- 
stine, 1976, p. 187. 



Oil on canvas 

20 5 /«x l>'/2 in. 

52.4 x 34.2 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

48.1172 X >3 




163 



22 

Juan 

ci and Fruit Dish 
Journal et compotier 

ch 1916 

Several still lites Gris painted in 
March 1916 contain a newspaper 
and compotier on a tabic and a door 
visible in the background. This 
group includes another canvas that 
also belonged to {Catherine S. Dreier 
and is now in the Yale University 
Art Gallery, New Haven. In News- 
paper and Fnut Dish not only Gris's 
use of bright colors but also his tech- 
nique of dotted brush strokes in a 
contrasting color are worth) of spe- 
cial mention. It is well known that 
Picasso and Braque had enlivened 
the surfaces of their work and creat- 
ed decorative effects with patterns 
of dots around 1914-15. Georges 
Seurat may have been another 
source of inspiration: in his letters 
Gris makes clear his awareness of 
Seurat's technique, although he does 
not employ it in relation to color the- 
ory as the Neo-Impressionists did. 
For the most part in the Guggen- 
164 heim picture Gris applied blue dabs 
of paint onto yellow areas, some yel- 
low dots over pale pink areas and, at 
the top, superimposed red dots on 
yellow, gray and green. The final ef- 
fect is not scientific but ornamental 
and colorful, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

8 cm. 
ion R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 

ol (Catherine S Dreiei 
53.1341 




165 



166 



23 

V.isilv Kandinsky 

Blue Mountain 

L908-09 

In 1908 Kandinsky knew the work 
of Post-Impressionists such as Gau- 
guin and van Gogh as well as that of 
the Nabis, Matisse and other 
Fauves. I lis paintings demonstrate 
an affinity with the Jugendstil arts 
and crafts movement and with reli- 
gious paintings on glass. Blue Moun- 
tain dates Irom 1908-09, a tran- 
sitional moment in Kandinsky's 
career. While identifiable forms can 
still be discerned in this picture, they 
have lost their impact as representa- 
tional images and have moved far in 
the direction ot abstraction. The 
flattened blue, red and yellow forms 
emphasize the upward thrust of the 
composition. 

The motif of three horsemen and a 
mountain figures prominently in 
Kandinsky's oeuvre until 1913. As 
early as 1902 the image of a single 
horse and rider appeared in his work. 
(v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

41 »/4x 38 in. 

106 ■ 96 6 cm. 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

Gift, Solomon R Guggenheim 

41.505 




.&v* 







167 



Kandinsky 

up in Crinolines 
Rcifrockgese Use haft 

Group in Crinolines is a transitional 
work in Kandinsk\- career, indicat- 
ing a shift from his early fairy-tale 
pictures to highly abstracted images. 
Though painted in Munich two years 
after Kandinsky lived and worked in 
Paris from 1906 to 1907, this canvas 
attests to his appreciation of modern 
French art. The plein-air social gath- 
ering of men and women dressed in 
Biedermeier fashion is reminiscent 
of Manet's portrait of leisure life, 
Music in the Tuileries, 1862. Kan- 
dinsky admired Manet's work for 
what he construed to be an emphasis 
on painting itself rather than a mi- 
metic translation of the empirical 
world. While the content of Group 
in Crinolines may resemble that 
of nineteenth-century Impressionist 
scenes, its brilliant, radical color 
scheme is clearly Fauvist in inspira- 
tion. During his stay in Paris, Kan- 
dinsky exhibited at the Salon d'Au- 
16g tomne of 1906 in which Matisse and 
the Fauves were prominently fea- 
tured. He pronounced Matisse to be 
"one of the greatest of the modern 
French painters" in his treatise Uber 
das Geistige in der Kunst. ' 
Kandinsky painted a second version 
of Group in Crinolines (Collection 
State Tretiakov Gallery, Moscow) 
which was included in the first exhi- 
bition of the Neue Kunstlerverein- 
igung Miinchen in 1909. In 1911 
Kandinsky painted Pastorale (Collec- 
tion Solomon R. Guggenheim Muse- 
um), a canvas similar in theme to, 
but formally more abstract than, 
Group in Crinolines. Kandinsky re- 
cast the semirealistic, though idyllic. 
image of formally attired people of 
Group in Crinolines into a highly styl- 
ized Utopian landscape in Pastorale. 
■ S.) 

Complete Writing on Art, eds. 
KC Lindsav and P. Vergo, vol. I, Boston, 
1982. p. 151. 



Oil on v 

ISO 1 cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim 
York 




169 



25 

Vasily KancJinsky 

Sketch for "Composition II" 

Skizze fur {Composition 2 

1909-10 

The Guggenheim painting is the last 
in a series of numerous studies for 
Composition II (now destroyed). 
Kandinsky considered the Composi- 
tions major works which he formu- 
lated gradually from preliminary 
sketches to realize an expression of 
inner feeling. When he was sick with 
typhoid fever, Kandinsky visualized 
a picture which he later strove to 
reconstruct. The artist felt that Com- 
position II came close to capturing 
that vision. 

Although scholars have differed in 
their interpretations of specific im- 
ages in the painting, there is general 
agreement that a catastrophe is 
depicted on the left and an idyllic 
scene on the right. Kandinsky him- 
self stated that Composition II did 
not have a theme. He has filled the 
canvas with a multitude of vibrantly 
colored, simplified forms and has 
compressed the imagery to such a 
170 degree that it seems to overwhelm its 
two-dimensional confines, (v.e.b.) 



( )il oo canvas 
J8 J /«x 51'/» in- 
131.2 cm. 
aon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 
45961 




171 



26 

Y.imIv Kandinsky 

Improvisation 28 (Second Version) 

1912 



172 



The shitt in the titles of Kandinsky's 
paintings from those recalling liter- 
ary themes to those evoking musical 
creations - Impressions, Improvisa- 
tions and Compositions - marks the 
artist's increasing experimentation 
with ahstracted forms in 1911. He 
described his Improvisations as "chief- 
ly unconscious. . . expressions of events 
oi an inner character." 1 While Kan- 
dinsky advocated abstraction as the 
best mode of painting for expressing 
an artist's innermost resources and 
indicating the existence of an other- 
wise invisible, spiritual realm, he 
realized that it would be necessary to 
develop such a style slowly in order 
for the public to understand its mes- 
sage. In his Uber das Geistige in 
der Kunst, Kandinsky proposed a 
method of veiling and simplifying 
pictorial images so that the essential 
objects of a composition would be 
barely recognizable. Admitting that 
"today we are still firmly bound to 
the outward appearance of nature 
and must draw forms from it," he 
suggested that there existed a hidden 
pictorial construction that would 
"emerge unnoticed from the picture 
and [would thus be] less suited to the 
eye than the soul." 2 



As in all of Kandinsky's other Im- 
provisations, motifs emerge in Im- 
provisation 28 (Second Version) to 
reveal a unifying theme in the work 
from this period: the Apocalypse as 
described in the Revelation of St. 
John the Divine. Though more ex- 
plicit in the preparatory sketch for 
this canvas (Collection The Hilla von 
Rebay Foundation), images of an 
embracing couple, shining sun, cele- 
bratory candles, boat, waves, serpent 
and, perhaps, cannons emerge from a 
composition that initially appears to 
be defined entirely in abstract terms 
by dynamic lines and seemingly ran- 
dom patches of color. The canvas is 
divided into two sections by trans- 
parent tubular forms that traverse 
the picture vertically. The right por- 
tion of the scene, containing couple, 
sun and candles, may represent a fu- 
ture of hope and redemption after an 
apocalyptic deluge that is suggested 
on the left by the waves and can- 
nons, (n.s.) 



1 Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, eds. 
K.C. Lindsay and P. Vergo, vol. I, Boston, 
1982, p. 218. 

2 Ibid., pp. 199, 209. 



Oil on canvas 

■ 63 7 /« m 
111 4 * 162 1 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

>lomon R. Guggenheim 
37.239 




173 



21 

Vasily Kandinsky 
Landscape with Rain 
Landschafi mit Regen 

January 1915 

During 1912 the theme of an 
apocalyptic deluge emerged in Kan- 
dinsky's oeuvre. By titling several 
works with the German word "Sint- 
flut," which refers specifically to the 
Biblical flood, Kandinsky under- 
scored the spiritual implications of 
his paintings. Motifs from the floods 
described in the Revelation of St. 
John the Divine and Genesis appear 
in a number of his canvases, studies 
and paintings on glass. Composition 
VI of 1913 (Collection State Her- 
mitage Museum, Leningrad), for in- 
stance, was inspired by an earlier 
glass painting titled Deluge, about 
which Kandinsky wrote, "Here are 
to be found various objective 
forms ...nudes, the Ark, animals, 
palm trees, lightning, rain, etc." 1 
While Landscape with Rain does not 
contain such specific visual refer- 
ences to the apocalypse, it may be 
considered within the context of 
174 Kandinsky's contemporaneous works 
and understood as an evocation of 
the spiritual in the broadest sense. 
At the same time, it remains simply 
an abstracted depiction of a moun- 
tainous landscape during a rainfall. 

(N.S.) 

1 Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, eds. 
K.C. Lindsay and P. Vergo, vol. I, Boston, 
1982, p. 385. 



Oil on canvas 

27 '/» x 30 'A in. 

70.2x78.1 cm. 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

45.962 




175 



28 

ilv Kandinsky 
Landscape with Red Spots, No. 2 

Ischa/t mil roten lrlecken, No. 2 

I'M i 

From 1908 Kandinsky often stayed 
in the town of Murnau in upper 
Bavaria, where his companion 
Gabricle Miinter bought a house in 
1 19. The landscapes inspired by 
these Alpine surroundings developed 
from the flattened, densely colored 
views of 1908 to the luminous, an- 
timaterial dream visions of 1913, 
such as this canvas and the closely 
related Landscape with Red Spots, 
No. 1 (Collection Museum Folk- 
wang, Essen). 

The motif of the church in a land- 
scape recurs often in Kandinsky's 
paintings of 1908 to 1913. In exam- 
ples of 1908 and 1909 the particular 
design of the Murnau church makes 
identification possible, though the 
local topography may not be ac- 
curately reflected. By 1911 there is 
little specifying detail and the tower, 
which serves to divide the composi- 
tion, has taken on a generalized, 
176 columnar appearance. In Landscape 
with Red Spots, No. 2, the tower is 
replaced by a mysterious elongated 
vertical form that seems to continue 
beyond the canvas edge into another 
realm. Like the nineteenth-century 
German Romantic painters, Kan- 
dinsky presents the landscape as an 
exalted, spiritualized vision. He 
achieves the sublimity of the image 
by freeing color from its descriptive 
function to reveal its latent expres- 
sive content. The chromatic empha- 
sis is on the primary colors, applied 
thinly over a white ground. The fo- 
cal point, the red spot that inspires 
the picture's title, bears out Kan- 
dinsky's appraisal of red as an ex- 
panding color that pulses forward 
toward the viewer, in contrast to 
cooler colors, particularly blue, that 
recede. Kandinsky indicates the 
naturalistic content of subject matter 
with abbreviated signs, emphasizing 
the purely pictorial aspects of color 
and form, and thus is able to 
dematerialize the objective world. 
(l.f.) 



Oil on canvas 

46'/«x55V 
117.5 x 140 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.255 5 PG H 




177 



178 



29 

Vastly Kandinsky 

Painting with White Border 

Bild mil weissem Rand 

May L913 

In his essay on Painting with White 
Border, Kandinsky stated that the 
picture was a translation of impres- 
sions he received on his most recent 
visit to Moscow. This Russian sub- 
ject is directly indicated by the backs 
ot three horses - a troika - at the up- 
per left. The central motif is a knight 
(identified as St. George) on horse- 
back with a long white lance attack- 
ing a serpent or dragon at the lower 
left. This image as well as others that 
Kandinsky used in paintings of the 
Last Judgment, Resurrection and All 
Saints' Day appears clearly in the 
numerous studies for the painting 
but are sublimated into abstract 
forms in this final version. 1 The 
white border is Kandinsky's solution 
to a compositional problem in com- 
pleting the picture, (v.e.b.) 

1 See both Rudenstine, 1976, and R.C. 
Washton, Vastly Kandinsky 1909-1913, Painting 
and Theory, Ph.D. dissertation, Yale Universi- 
ty, 1968, pp. 217-223. 



Oil on canvas 

55 '/(» 78 7» in. 

140.3x200.3 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

(.ill Solomon R. Guggenheim 

37.245 




179 



Vasily Kandinsky 

Small Pleasures 

Kleine I reuden 

June 1913 

The abbreviated and obfuscated nar- 
rative details of Small Pleasures can 
be deciphered if examined in con- 
junction with the three known 
preparatory studies for the canvas as 
well as two earlier but composition- 
ally similar works: the glass painting 
With Sun, 1910, and the oil Improvi- 
sation 21a, 1911 (both Collection 
Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, 
Munich). The center of the composi- 
tion is dominated by two mountains, 
on top of which sit walled cities, 
suggestive of medieval fortresses. 
What are clearly delineated images 
of horses and riders in With Sun have 
become highly schematized, almost 
indistinguishable motifs on the up- 
per left of Small Pleasures. The same 
may be said about the reclining cou- 
ple barely visible on the lower left. A 
rowboat and whale are depicted, 
though in veiled form, on the right. 
While this composition contains im- 
180 agery usually associated with the 
apocalyptic themes that run through- 
out Kandinsky's early work, its title 
suggests other readings. In an essay 
written about Small Pleasures in 
1913, Kandinsky explained that he 
was initially inspired by the shim- 
mering transparent glazes employed 
in With Sun and that he found the 
landscape provided the perfect 
"playground" for pleasurable pur- 
suits. His goal, he wrote, "was to 
let... [himself] go and scatter a heap 
of small pleasures upon the can- 
vas." 1 If Kandinsky did perceive 
this painting in the context of his 
other works with religious content, 
the scene depicted would represent 
the period of Utopian regeneration 
after apocalyptic destruction. 2 (n.s.) 

1 Quoted in Rudenstine, 1976, p. 268. 

2 R.C. Washton-Long, Kandinsky: The De- 
velopment of an Abstract Style, Oxford, 1980, p. 
185, n. 38. 



Oil on canvas 

•43 74 x47 V* in. 

109.8 x 119.7 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

43921 




181 



182 



n 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 
Gerda, I [alf-Length Portrait 
Frauenkopf, Gerda 
IS>14 

Kirchner painted Gerda, Half-Length 
Portrait in Berlin before the outbreak 
of World War 1. Like her younger 
sister Erna, who was to become the 
artist's common-law wife, Gerda 
Schilling was a dancer. In this pic- 
ture her assertive pose is enhanced 
by the angular stylizations in the 
background, the hatched patterning 
of the brushstrokes and the tension 
between the representation of three- 
dimensional forms and the two- 
dimensional picture plane. Gerda, 
Half -Length Portrait shares with 
Kirchner's Berlin street scenes of 
1913-14 not only subject matter but 
also the intensity and dissonance of 
color and the use of the background 
as a dynamic design element, (v.e.b.) 



( )il on i 

39 x 29 

99 1 ■ 75.3 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

Partial gift, Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Denkei 

78.2421 




183 



i Ludwig Kirchner 
Artillcrvmen 

1915 

As Utopian, vanguard artists, mem- 
bers of the Brucke group called for 
the complete overthrow of all exist- 
ing aesthetic and social values. These 
young men felt compelled to battle 
against what they perceived to be 
the constricting forces of bourgeois 
culture, a culture they associated 
with mediocrity, corruption and 
weakness. They sought visual modes 
through which to metaphorically em- 
power themselves, while categorical- 
ly rejecting previous artistic styles 
and social mores. During the early 
years of the Brucke, Kirchner's em- 
phasis on absolute freedom from 
convention was manifested in his art 
by the predominance of erotic sub- 
ject-matter. For Kirchner and other 
German Expressionist artists, the 
supine female nude - aggressively 
and primitively rendered - served 
as a sign for male domination and 
virility. 

Artillerymen displays a change in 
184 subject matter from Kirchner's earli- 
er paintings and woodcuts of objecti- 
fied and submissive women. Marked 
by a provocative shift in gender, the 
picture depicts an assembly of nude 
male soldiers - overseen and super- 
vised by a clothed military official. 
Painted after Kirchner had been 
drafted into the German army in 
1914 and subsequently released on 
the grounds of mental instability, 
this image suggests the artist's sense 
of vulnerability. The naked, shower- 
ing soldiers are powerless as in- 
dividuals; their will has been subject- 
ed to the organizing force of the 
army. Kirchner's horror of the war 
and fear for his own life is more ex- 
plicitly rendered in the contem- 
poraneous painting, Self-Portrait as 
Soldier (Collection The Dudley Peter 
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Ober- 
lin College, Ohio), where a gaunt 
uniformed Kirchner presents his 
own severed arm to the viewer as an 
allusion to the terror of artistic impo- 
tence. The presence of a nude female 
model behind him extends the 
metaphor to include the possibility 
of castration, the fear of which 
would be particularly powerful given 
Kirchner's conflation of sexual 
prowess, cultural liberation and aes- 
thetic achievement, (n.s.) 



Oil on ( 

• 59 •/« in 
140 x 15} cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 
nange 
85.3591 



ftr 




185 



186 



33 

Paul Klee 

Flowerbed 

Blumenbeet 

Kki.\ familiarity with Cubist 
painters, including Robert Delau- 
1S well as artists like Matisse is 
readily apparent in this early canvas. 
Executed after his stay in Paris in 
1912 and before his trip to Tunisia 
in 1914, Flowerbed proceeds from 
Klie's interest in painting from na- 
ture. He has focused on a small seg- 
ment of landscape where, at the left, 
parts of flowers emerge. Tightly 
worked patterns are brought forward 
to the picture surface and forms are 
schematized into triangles and 
wedge shapes. Color is thick and 
opaque; it ranges in spectrum from 
pink-rose to dark earth tones. 
(v.e.b.) 



Oil on board 

• 13 '/-» 'n. 

28.2 x }J.7 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

48.1172 X 109 




187 



5-4 

( )skar Kokoschka 
Knight Errant 
Da irrende Ritter 

1915 

The knight in armor appears strange- 
ly suspended above the landscape. 
Kokoschka has confirmed that the 

knight is a self-portrait and that the 
canvas was painted before he served 
in World War I. While the figure of 
the knight may dominate the pic- 
ture, its meaning is amplified by the 
presence of two small figures within 
the landscape: in the upper center of 
the composition a bird-man, who 
also resembles the artist, is perched 
on a limb which hangs over the 
ocean; reclining in the landscape at 
the right is the sphinx-woman who 
represents Kokoschka's mistress, 
Alma Mahler. Although Kokoschka 
had previously depicted bird-man 
and sphinx-woman close together, 
they are separated here as if to sym- 
bolize the end of the artist's relation- 
ship with Alma. 1 The cloud-filled 
sky contains the letters "ES," which 
undoubtedly refer to Christ's la- 
Igg ment: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtharii" 
("My God, my God, why hast Thou 
forsaken me?"). 

The agitated brushwork and disturb- 
ing colors intensify the tumultuous 
seascape and emphasize the emotion- 
al content of Kokoschka's picture. 
(V.E.B.) 

1 See Rudenstine, 1976, pp. 428-429. 



Oil on i 

55'/.. x70'/* in. 

89,5 x 180.1 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

48.1172 X 380 




189 



35 

FrantiSek Kupka 

Planes by Colors, Large Nude 

Plum par contain, grand nu 

190' 

Over a period of several years, from 
about 1906 to 1910, Kupka trans- 
formed a traditional reclining nude 
into a formal arrangement of color 
planes: Planes by Colors, Large Nude 
represents one stage in this meta- 
morphosis. The evolution of this 
painting can be traced through more 
than twenty studies. 
Although his work reveals a familiar- 
ity with Divisionism, Symbolism, 
Fauvism and Cubism, Kupka was 
not allied with any artistic move- 
ments. In Planes by Colors, Large 
Nude Kupka has eliminated three- 
dimensional modeling and has con- 
structed the figure with color areas. 
The pinkish white, green and purple 
planes differentiate successive posi- 
tions in depth, although spatial 
recession is not otherwise indicated. 
It is a pivotal work, which points in 
the direction of abstraction and 
would be followed by other paintings 
190 where planes of color are investigat- 
ed, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

59V8x71 l /8 in. 

150.1 x 180.8 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

Andrew I' Fuller 
68.1860 




191 



• nand Ley 
The Smokers 
La Fumeun 
December L911-January 1912 

L6ger's Cubist works reveal a closer 
affinity to Delaunay's dynamic 
bism than to the static Cubism of 
Braque and Picasso. Like many of 
Robert Delaunay's paintings of 
Eiffel Towers (for example, cat. nos. 
12 and 14), The Smokers contains 
lateral curtains and exhibits multiple 
points ol view from which objects 
are represented. The volumes of 
smoke contrast with the flat, angular 
planes of trees, buildings and faces. 
Together they lunction on the pic- 
ture plane to achieve a decidedly 
upward movement. Set apart from 
the dark tonality of urban landscape 
and foreground figures, the white- 
smoke partakes of an almost sculp- 
tural form. 

The Smokers is closely related to and 
slightly earlier in date than The Wed- 
ding, 1912 (Collection Musee Na- 
tional d'Art Moderne, Paris) and 
The Woman in Blue, late 1912 (Col- 
192 lection Kunstmuseum Basel). Leger's 
choice of smoke as a subject can be 
seen within the wider context of an 
interest on the part of artists at that 
time in atmospheric phenomena and 
a wish to give substance to clouds, 
steam, rain and snow, (v.e.b.) 



( )il on canvas 
51 x38 in. 
121.4x96.5 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim 
York 

•lomon R. Guggenheim 
58.521 




193 



37 

I ernand Leger 

Nude Model in the Studio 

/ e Modile nu dam I'atelier 

191213 

The art historian and critic Michel 
Seuphor proclaimed that 1912 was 
"perhaps the most beautiful date in 
the whole history of painting in 
France." 1 This year marked the cul- 
mination of high Analytic Cubism in 
the work of Picasso and Braque as 
well as the maturation of Leger's 
own idiosyncratic Cubist style. All 
three artists were originally inspired 
by Cezanne in their quest for a 
means by which to accurately describe 
three-dimensional objects on a two- 
dimensional canvas. By breaking the 
represented objects into series of 
tiny, fragmented planes and render- 
ing them against - or within - a simi- 
larly faceted and similarly monochro- 
matic background, Picasso and 
Braque created an entirely integrat- 
ed space. Although Leger developed 
a different vocabulary of more pre- 
cisely rendered forms - his fragment- 
ed units are larger, arcs predominate 
194 and colors remain - he was also able 
to achieve a space in which field and 
object interpenetrate each other. 
The curving, overlapping planes in 
Nude Model in the Studio simultane- 
ously describe the sensuous form of 
a seated woman and an allover, 
rhythmically patterned surface. The 
result is an oscillation between volu- 
metric body and dynamic space that 
owes as much to Futurist aesthetics 
as to Analytic Cubism. Contem- 
poraneous studies of nudes in the 
studio provide more anatomically co- 
herent views of the female model be- 
fore she has been subjected to 
Leger's abstracting grammar; a 
preliminary drawing (Private Collec- 
tion, Paris) 2 depicts a woman 
turned slightly toward the left with 
one hand resting on the opposite 
shoulder. Leger based the vertical 
composition of shifting cylindrical 
forms in Nude Model in the Studio 
not only on these studies but also on 
his slightlv earlier Cubist painting 
The Woman in Blue, late 1912 (Col- 
lection Kunstmuseum Basel), (n.s.) 

1 Quoted in C. Greenberg, "Master Leger," 
Partisan Review, vol. XXI, Januarv-Februarv 
1954, p. 90. 

2 Repr Rudenstine, 1976, p. 458. 



Oil on burlap 

50 78 x37 V" in 

127.8x95.7 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 

-44 1 ] C H 




195 



38 

I inland Leger 

Men in the < 

/ es Hommes dam la ville 

1919 

Leger temporarily abandoned rep- 
resentational depiction in his Con- 
trast of Forms scries of 1913-14, be- 
gun a few months after he completed 
Nude Model in the Studio (sec cat . no 
37). When lie returned from the 
front in 1917 and resumed painting, 
he reintroduced recognizable im- 
agery in his work. Responsive to the 
technological advances and assertive 
advertising that followed World 
War I, he embarked on his "mechan- 
ical" period with works such as Men 
in the City and the related The City 
of 1919-20 (Collection Philadelphia 
Museum of Art). 

In the urban themes of this period 
the human figure becomes as de- 
individualized and mechanized as 
the environment it occupies. Leger is 
able to express rhythmic energy of 
contemporary life by finding its pic- 
torial equivalent. Form, color and 
shape are considered primarily for 
196 their plastic values and are given 
equal emphasis. They confront one 
another in a multitude of relations 
creating single images that capture 
simultaneous sensations. Confusion 
of parts does not result, because 
Leger distributes planes evenly and 
builds his compositions with blocky 
areas of flat, easily read, unmixed 
color and clear and incisive outline. 
He conveys a sense of depth through 
overlapping planes and changes in 
scale rather than with modeling. 
Leger's simple, varied and clear pic- 
torial elements, like ideal machines, 
efficiently produce effects of maxi- 
mum power, (l.f.) 



Oil on 

57 V«x44"; 

145.7 k 113.5 cm. 

Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
76.2553 PG 21 




197 



I I ! 

1 1 led 
ca I'M 9-20 

This painting reveals the principles 
of Suprematism that Lissitzky ab- 
sorbed under the influence of 
Malevich in 1919-20. Trained as an 
engineer and possessing a more prag- 
matic temperament than that of his 
mentor, Lissitzky soon became one 
of the leading exponents of Con- 
structivism. In the 1920s, while liv- 
ing in Germany, he became an im- 
portant influence on both the Dutch 
De Stijl group and the artists of the 
German Bauhaus. 

Like Malevich, Lissitzky believed in 
a new art that rejected traditional 
pictorial structure, centralized com- 
positional organization, mimesis and 
perspectival consistency. In this 
work the ladder ot vividly colored 
forms seems to be floating through 
indeterminate space. Spatial rela- 
tionships are complicated by the veil 
of white color that divides these 
forms from the major gray diagonal. 
The linkage of elements is not at- 
198 tributable to a mysterious magnetic 
pull, as in Malevich's painting (see 
cat. no. 41), but is indicated in a liter- 
al way by the device of a connecting 
threadlike line. The winding line 
changes color as it passes through the 
various rectangles that may serve as 
metaphors for different cosmic planes. 

(L.F.) 



Oil on canvas 

3l'/i6x 19 72 in. 

79.6 x 49.6 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.2553 PG 4 5 




199 



200 



40 

Kazimir Malevich 
Morning in the Village 
After Snowstorm 

i posle v'ugi v derevne 
1912 

Morning in the Village After Snow- 
storm belongs with Malevich's peasant 
pictures ol 1911-12 which show sol- 
id compact figures tending to daily 
chores (for example, In the fields, 
The Reaper, Woodcutter and Taking 
in the Rye). In the Guggenheim 
painting Malevich has emphasized 
volume through the shapes of the 
cylinder, sphere and cone. Even the 
snowdrifts have been stylized into 
geometric forms. The colors are 
predominantly white, red and blue 
with an almost metallic and decided- 
ly non-naturalistic cast. The geomet- 
ric and tubular forms suggest those 
of Leger, who could have known 
Malevich's work from the Jack of Di- 
amonds exhibition in Moscow in 
February 1912 or through reproduc- 
tions. (V.E.B.) 



Oil on t 
Jl>/4x 31 7- 
80.7 x 80.8 cm. 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 
52 1327 




201 



41 

k.i/imir Malevich 

Untitled 

ca. 1916 

Malevich proposed the reductive, 
abstract style of Suprematism as an 
alternative to earlier art forms, 
which he considered inappropriate 
to his own time. He observed that 
the proportions of forms in art of the 
past corresponded with those of ob- 
jects in nature, which are determined 
by their function. In opposition to 
this he proposed a self-referential art 
in which proportion, scale, color and 
disposition obey intrinsic, non-util- 
itarian laws. Malevich considered his 
non-objective forms to be repro- 
ductions of purely affective sensa- 
tions that bore no relation to exter- 
nal phenomena. He rejected conven- 
tions of gravity, clear orientation, 
horizon line and perspective sys- 
tems. 

Malevich's units are developed from 
the straight line and its two- 
dimensional extension, the plane, 
and are constituted of contrasting 
areas of unmodeled color, distin- 
202 guished by various textural effects. 
The diagonal orientation of geomet- 
ric forms creates rhythms on the sur- 
face of the canvas. The overlapping 
of elements and their varying scale 
relationships within a white ground 
provide a sense of indefinitely exten- 
sive space. Though the organization 
of the pictorial forms does not cor- 
respond with that of traditional sub- 
jects, there are various internal 
regulatory principles. In the present 
work a magnetic attraction and 
repulsion seem to dictate the slow 
rotational movement of parts. A 
preparatory drawing for the painting 
(Private Collection, U.S.S.R.) di- 
verges slightly from it in the number 
and placement of the forms, (l.f.) 

1 Repr. Rudenstine,, 1985, p. 478, fig. c. 



Oil on canvas 

■ 20'/l in. 
53 x 53 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
76.2553 PG 42 




203 



204 



42 

a Marc 
White Bull 

L911 

From as early as 1905 Franz Marc 
ented animals in nature. Not 
only bulls, cows, horses and pigs but 
also deer, wolves, foxes and tigers 
.ire viewed sympathetically and often 
with a pantheistic spirit. 
White Bull was painted in Sindels- 
dorf in the Bavarian Alps, probably 
in July 1911 after Marc's return 
from England in June, and was 
definitely completed by August. The 
large, self-contained form of the bull 
is seen at rest within a landscape set- 
ting. The artist's knowledge of anat- 
omy enabled him to simplify the 
animal's body into an essential, com- 
pact shape. Marc evolved a system of 
color theories: his intent was to en- 
dow colors with both expressive 
value and symbolic meaning. Thus, 
as in Yellow Cow (cat. no. 43), the 
image is not naturalistic but spiritu- 
al, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

135.2 cm. 

ix-nhcim Museum 




205 



43 

I ranz Mare 
Yellow (low 
Gelbe Kuh 

1911 

Yellow Cow, painted in Sindelsdorf, 
was shown at the first Blaue Reiter 
exhibition, which opened in Munich 
on December 18, 1911. It is an early 
example of Marc's mature style. The 
sculptured, clearly defined volumes 
of the cow show a transitional stage 
between the artist's earlier more 
naturalistic treatment of his subject 
matter and the later stylized flatten- 
ing into planes. Similarly, the full 
rounded contours and arabesques 
which dominate the composition 
would soon be replaced by more con- 
cise geometric forms. 
The colors have a symbolic value and 
should be seen in relation to Marc's 
theories. In his correspondence with 
Macke in December 1910, Marc 
specified that "blue is the male prin- 
ciple, severe, bitter, spiritual, and in- 
tellectual. Yellow is the female prin- 
ciple, gentle, cheerful, and sensual. 
Red is matter, brutal and heavy, the 
206 color which must be fought and 
overcome by the other two!" 1 He 
proceeded to elaborate on various 
combinations of colors and their 
meanings. 

There is an oil sketch for Yellow 
Cows in a private collection, and an 
almost identical yellow cow appears 
in a painting of 1912, Cows Red, 
Green, Yellow, in the Stadtische 
Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich. 

(V.E.B.) 

1 Quoted in Rudenstine, 1976, p. 493. 



Oil on canvas 

55 7» x 74 '/;> in. 

140.5 x 189.2 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

New York 




207 



1 1 

I ranz Marc 

The Unfortunate Land of Tyrol 

Das arme Land Tirol 

L913 

Marc made the first sketches for this 
large painting during a trip in the 
Tyrol region in March 1915. The Un- 
fortunate Land of Tyrol was complet- 
ed by May 22, 1913, when the artist 
mentioned it in a letter to his friend 
Macke. Marc inscribed the title on 
the canvas and combined such im- 
ages as a graveyard, a house on fire, 
starved horses, a heraldic eagle 
beneath a rainbow and the Austro- 
Hungarian border sign to convey a 
sense of the tension and suffering 
long endured by the region. The im- 
pact of these ominous signs is inten- 
sified by the jagged black lines and 
the discordant colors. Marc's premo- 
nitions of World War I can also be 
discerned in his painting Fate of the 
Animals (Collection Kunstmuseum 
Basel). Themes of destruction and 
apocalypse appeared at this time in 
the work of other Expressionists 
such as Kandinsky, Kokoschka and 
208 Beckmann. 

Marc painted another canvas enti- 
tled Tyrol in 1913 but repainted it 
substantially the following year (Col- 
lection Bayerische Staatsgemalde- 
sammlungen, Munich), (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

■ 78 >/< in. 
1M1 x200 cm. 

lira Museum 




209 



45 

I [enri Matisse 

The Italian Woman 

/. Italienne 

Early 1916 

Matisse's painting The Italian Wom- 
an, which was completed in early 
1916, conveys an extraordinarily viv- 
id sense- of the evolution of a work of 
art. The figure emerges from the flat 
canvas and presses against its verti- 
cal boundaries: the woman's head 
touches the top of the canvas and her 
tensely clasped hands are firmly an- 
chored at the bottom edge. Her face 
is serious, austere, sculptural; her 
black hair hangs like a curtain to one 
side. The subject is Laurette, an 
Italian model who posed for Matisse 
from late 1915 until 1918 and whose 
features are recognizable in other 
paintings. A photograph of Matisse's 
studio shows an earlier stage of The 
Italian Woman and documents a 
more realistic portrayal of Laurette 
before the artist decided to rework 
the canvas. However, the changes, 
or pentimenti, are clearly visible in 
the present picture, especially in the 
21Q model's right shoulder, face and 
hair. Matisse has covered Laurette's 
right shoulder with the tan back- 
ground and he has accentuated her 
left arm with a green pigment that 
ties it to the adjacent green back- 
ground. He plays upon contrasts be- 
tween left and right, foreground and 
background, and the three-dimen- 
sional figure and two-dimensional 
surface of the picture. The Italian 
woman articulates the intensity of 
the figure and embodies the very 
process of making a picture, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on . 

/4 in. 
■ 89.6 cm. 

1 'Uggenheim Museum 

'i.ingc 




211 



212 



46 

Amedeo Modigliani 

Nude 

1917 

Modigliani has shown the reclining 
female nude asleep: thus, she does 
not gaze provocatively at the specta- 
tor as in many of his other paintings 
ol the subject. Between 1916 and 
1919 he painted approximately 
twenty-six female nudes. When a 
group of them (perhaps including the 
Guggenheim Museum painting) was 
shown at the Galerie Berthe Weill in 
December 1917, the police found 
the paintings to be obscene and 
closed the exhibition. 
Modigliani's sleeping figure appears 
self-contained, sensuous and una- 
ware of the spectator. The warm 
flesh color of her body is set off on 
one side by the dark color of the 
background and on the other by the 
white drapery. Her head is described 
in a rather stylized manner contrast- 
ing with the full, naturalistic model- 
ing of her torso, (v. eh.) 



Oil on canvas 

in. 
116.7 cm. 
ion Solomon R. Guggenheim V 

N lomon R Guggenheim 
41 555 





■:■-:. ■ •■,;•■**■■ ■-.-,. ,-^- ..+^ T , ...^. „^.-^....<- , . ■^^^■.i'. Mt *ttJ M y, ^l^^^^^^^M 




213 



47 

Amedeo Modigliani 

feannc 1 lebuterne with Yellow Sweater 

Jeanne Hebuterne en pullover /uune 

1918-19 

Modigliani met Jeanne I lebuterne 
(1898-1920) in Paris in 1917. As his 
loyal companion, she was the mother 
ol his only child. As his model, she 
was the subject of more than twenty 
portraits between 1917 and 1920. 
The morning after Amedeo Modiglia- 
ni died, Jeanne I lebuterne com- 
mitted suicide. 

Characteristic of the artist's mature 
style are the long curved neck, the 
flat, elongated oval face, the empty 
almond-shaped eyes and the small 
pursed mouth. Jeanne is seated near 
the corner of a room; the angle of her 
head and the curve of her hips and 
shoulders conform to an S-shaped 
silhouette, and even the position of 
her hands reinforces the lively curv- 
ing shapes. Modigliani has depicted 
Jeanne's sweater and the background 
wall in warm light-filled tonalities 
and with an allover pattern of brush- 
work in the thinly applied pigment. 
214 (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

■ 25 'A in. 
100x64 7 cm. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

3 'lomon R. Guggenheim 
37 535 




215 



48 

Piet MuiK.lii.in 

Still Life with Ginger Pot II 

Stelleven met member pot II 

I'M 1-12 



216 



An exhibition of avant-garde French 
art presented in Amsterdam by the 
Modeme Kunstkring (Modern Art 
Circle) in 1911 profoundly in- 
fluenced the evolution of Mondri- 
an's art. This exhibition featured 
proto-Cubist paintings by Picasso 
and Braque as well as paintings by 
other artists, including I lerbin, Raoul 
Duty, Derain and Le Fauconnier and 
a section devoted entirely to 
Cezanne. Mondrian's Still Life with 
Ginger Pot I, 1911-12 (on permanent 
loan to the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum from the Haags Gemeen- 
temuseum, The Hague), painted dur- 
ing the winter of 1911 while the ar- 
tist planned to move to Paris, illus- 
trates the extent to which Cezanne's 
compositional techniques inspired a 
change in his work. Whereas earlier 
paintings by Mondrian - allegories, 
nature studies and portraits inspired 
by theosophy - reveal an early debt 
to Dutch Symbolist art and Pointil- 
lism, this canvas marks the begin- 
ning of his investigation of French 
abstraction. While essentially repre- 
sentational, the still life accentuates 
the interrelationships of the ar- 
ranged objects rather than mere- 



ly imitating their empirical appear- 
ance. 

The second version of the painting, 
Still Life with Ginger Pot II, executed 
once Mondrian had taken up resi- 
dence in Paris, demonstrates the art- 
ist's rather rapid, yet highly success- 
ful, assimilation of Cubist composi- 
tion. While retaining the basic com- 
ponents of the still-life arrangement, 
Mondrian subsumed the various ele- 
ments in a geometricizing grid. The 
ginger jar, which in the previous ver- 
sion is but one formal element on the 
level of the others, is here the cen- 
tral motif from which all lines and 
curves appear to radiate. As in the 
Analytic Cubist canvases of Picasso 
and Braque, the centrifugal scaffold- 
ing of geometric configurations dis- 
solves toward the edges of the can- 
vas, drawing the eye back to the 
center. But unlike examples of high 
Analytic Cubist painting, Still Life 
with Ginger Pot II does not convey 
the sense of a sharply illuminated 
sculptural bas-relief. Rather, Mon- 
drian's composition unfolds, ulti- 
mately, as a two-dimensional design, 
more powerfully asserting the exis- 
tence of the picture plane, (n.s.) 



Oil on canvas 
37 1 /2x47'/-< in. 
95.2 x 120 cm. 
On permanent loan to 

>mon R Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

from the Haags Gemeentemuscum 
The 1 1 




217 



49 

Piet Mondrian 

Composition VII 

1913 

Composition VII was painted in Paris 
in the spring or summer of 1913. 
Although the ocher gray colors recall 
those of Picasso's and Braque's Ana- 
lytic Cubism of 1911-12, Mondri- 
an's canvas bears no other direct 
resemblance to the work of the Paris 
Cubists. Mondrian's point of depar- 
ture, unlike that of the Analytic 
Cubists, was organic structural form, 
in this instance, trees: two studies of 
trees in the Gemeentemuseum, The 
Hague, are related to this canvas. 
His image is consequently more dy- 
namic - consolidated not only by the 
contrasts of curves and straight lines 
but by the swift, uneven, angular 
and broken strokes - than Braque's 
and Picasso's basically static compo- 
sitions. 

Mondrian's space is conceived as a 
close-textured fabric of linear rela- 
tionships situated on a single plane 
and organized according to equiva- 
lent vertical and horizontal axes. 
218 Parisian Cubist space is composed of 
large, irregular, angled planes that 
overlap and intersect one another. 
Furthermore, Mondrian's shading 
creates zones of contrasting values 
rather than the spatial ambiguities of 
the Paris Cubists. 

Finally, the progressive fade-out at 
the borders that occurs in Composi- 
tion VII is certainly influenced by 
Braque's and Picasso's use of this 
pictorial device. However, the latter 
artists employed it to focus attention 
on a central scaffolded figure or a 
definitely ovoid composition usually 
anchored at the bottom edge of the 
canvas, while Mondrian does not. 
Consistent with his perfectly bal- 
anced and equivalent relationships 
among all parts, Mondrian has creat- 
ed an evenly ordered, allover pattern 
recessed equidistantly from all sides. 
(v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 
• 44 >/4 in. 
cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 
49.1228 




219 



50 

Ret Mondrian 

Composition No. 8 

1914 

Composition No. 8 was probably ex- 
ecuted in Paris before Mondrian's 
return to the Netherlands late in the 
summer of 1914. Like Composition 
No. 6 (Collection Gemeentemuse- 
um, The Hague) it derives from 
studies of building facades in Paris 
which the artist painted in late 1913 
and early 1914. Since these two can- 
vases are further removed from 
representational subject matter than 
Mondrian's earlier work, identifica- 
tion of a specific building as their 
source has not been possible. 
Although the space remains une- 
quivocally flat, organized according 
to a grid of black lines, the grid is 
larger and more uniform now, the 
lines are more evenly painted, and 
there is a noteworthy absence of di- 
agonals. The previous year in Com- 
position VII (cat. no. 49) the colors, 
subdued ochers and grays, appeared 
in undetermined zones, whereas here 
the warmer pink tones are more flat- 
220 'y applied and strictly limited to specif- 
ic grid sections, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on i 

m Museum 




~r> 



*-*** 



c 




> 1 1 




LI I '»» 



J**"" 1 ! 




« upwiwii H 



u 



T 




■ M l 



m*~m 



MHHHS 







P"* 



i- 



— > 



~l 



i""S— I WP— 



H' W I H WI 




221 



51 

Piet Mondrian 

Composition 1916 

1916 

During the years 1915 and 1916 
Mondrian began to abandon subjects 
derived from observable reality such 
as trees, dunes, the sea and buildings 
and concentrated on purely non- 
objective compositions. Composition 
1916, which is his only known work 
dated 1916, evolved from a series of 
charcoal sketches of the church fa- 
cade at Domburg on the coast of 
Dutch Zeeland. The artist designed 
a strip frame (now lost) in which the 
canvas was meant to be seen. His 
selection of an ocher, blue and rose 
palette with a gray ground appears 
to be a movement in the direction 
of the primary colors: yellow, blue 
and red. 

Mondrian's work of the war years in 
Holland is characterized by a break- 
down of his familiar grid into an em- 
pirically improvised cross and line 
pattern, resulting in a punctuated 
yet uninterrupted flow of space. Al- 
though the black lines are limited to 
222 horizontals and verticals, the areas 
of color are applied in diagonal ca- 
dence. Thus, as was his avowed prac- 
tice, Mondrian provoked an opposi- 
tion or duality of pictorial elements, 
to be resolved through a dynamic 
balance or "plastic equivalence." 
(v.e.b.) 



( )il on canvas with wood 
it bottom edge 
• 29 '/» in. 
■ 75.1 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 
49 1229 




223 



52 

I rancis Picabia 

Very Rare Picture on the Earth 

I'm rare tableau sur la terre 

1915 

In 1915 Picabia abandoned his ex- 
ploration of abstract form and color 
to adopt a new machinist idiom that 
he used until about 1923. Unlike 
Robert Delaunay or Leger, who saw 
the machine as an emblem of a new 
age, he was attracted to machine 
shapes lor their intrinsic visual and 
functional qualities. He often used 
mechanomorphic images humorously 
as substitutes for human beings; for 
example, in Here, This Is Stieglitz, 
1915 (Collection The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, New York), the 
photographer Alfred Stieglitz is por- 
trayed as a camera. In Very Rare Pic- 
ture on the Earth a self-generating, 
almost symmetrical machine is pre- 
sented frontally, clearly silhouetted 
against a flat, impassive background. 
Like Picabia's own Amorous Parade 
of 1917 (Collection Mr. and Mrs. 
Morton G. Neumann, Chicago) or 
Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare 
224 by Her Bachelors, Even of 1915-23 
(Collection Philadelphia Museum of 
Art), the present work might be read 
as the evocation of a sexual event in 
mechanical terms. This dispassionate 
view of sex is consonant with the an- 
tisentimental attitudes that were to 
characterize Dada. The work has 
also been interpreted as representing 
an alchemical processor, in part be- 
cause of the coating of the two upper 
cylinders with gold and silver leaf 
respectively. 1 

Not only is Very Rare Picture on the 
Earth one of Picabia's earliest 
mechanomorphic works, but it has 
been identified as his first collage. 2 
Its mounted wooden forms and in- 
tegral frame draw attention to the 
work as object - the picture is not 
really a picture, making it "very 
rare" indeed. Thus, an ironic note is 
added to the humorous pomposity of 
the inscription at upper left, (l.f.) 

1 U. Linde, Francis Picabia, exh. cat., Paris, 
1976, p. 24. 

2 W.A. Camfield, Francis Picabia: His Art, Life 
and Times, Princeton, New Jersey, 1979, p. 88. 



Oil and metallic paint 

on board, and silver and gold leaf 

on wood, in artist's painted I 

49 '/j x 38 '/2 in. 

125.7x97.8 cm 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.2553 PG 67 




225 



53 

Pablo Picasso 

Carafe, Jug and Fruit Bowl 

Carafon, pot et compotier 

Summer 1909 

Carafe, jug and Fruit Bowl was paint- 
ed in Spain during the summer of 
1909. From May to September 1909 
Picasso lived in Horta de San Juan 
(then called Horta de Ebro), a moun- 
tain village in his native Catalonia 
where he had spent an earlier crucial 
period in his development in 1898- 
99. The Guggenheim painting dem- 
onstrates how Picasso had assimilat- 
ed the influence of African and 
Iberian art and the solid monumen- 
tality of Cezanne's work. He endows 
the still-life objects with a strong 
sense of their geometric shapes, their 
concreteness and individuality. The 
green truit in the bowl and the red- 
dish color of the jug in the back- 
ground stand out from the pale 
grays, tans and whites that dominate 
the canvas. The tilting of the table, 
the narrow space, the angular planes 
of the drapery (especially on the ta- 
ble, where faceting is evident) mark 
226 a transitional phase from Picasso's 
proto-Cubist work to Analytic Cu- 
bism, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 

2874x25'/" 

cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

- 'lomon R Guggenheim 




227 



54 

Pablo Picasso 

Accordionist 

L ' Accordeoniste 
Summer 191 1 

During the summer of 1911 Picasso 
and Braque worked closely together 
at Ceret in the French Pyrenees. 
Picasso's Accordionist demonstrates 
how far he had moved in the direc- 
tion of abstraction. The traditional 
relationship between figure and 
ground has been destroyed and 
replaced by a unified pictorial con- 
figuration. The extreme degree of 
fragmentation, the flat, shaded 
planes, non-descriptive regularized 
brushstrokes, monochromatic color 
and shallow space are characteristic 
of Analytic Cubism. 
Picasso's Accordionist bears strong 
similarities to Braque's Man with a 
Guitar, summer 1911 (Collection 
The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York). As Robert Rosenblum has ob- 
served, both paintings have scroll 
patterns at the lower left, discernible 
indications of the sitter's fingers and 
vestiges of facial features. Picasso in 
228 particular favored figure painting 
and often chose to depict people 
playing musical instruments: for ex- 
ample, the Guggenheim's Accordi- 
onist, "Ma Jolie," winter 1911-12 
(Collection The Museum of Modern 
Art, New York), and The Aficiona- 
do, summer 1912 (Collection Kunst- 
museum Basel). In these paintings 
there is a strong two-dimensional 
unity of surface, a sense of light 
emanating from the forms them- 
selves and an articulation of the can- 
vas that is dictated by the inner 
structure rather than by the ar- 
bitrary edges of the support, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on . 

51 '/•.* 35'Ai in. 

130.2 *89.5 cm. 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 
■lornon R. Guggenheim 
37 537 




229 



55 

Pablo Picasso 
Landscape at Ceret 
Paysage de Ccrct 
Summer 1911 

Picasso's and Braque's collaborative 
exploration of perception and pic- 
torial representation during the sum- 
mer of 1911 resulted in the culmina- 
tion of high Analytic Cubism. The 
pictures completed during the month 
of August, when the two men paint- 
ed side by side in Ceret, mark an in- 
tellectual and aesthetic interchange 
unequalled in the history of art. 
Such was the level of their shared en- 
deavor that both artists decided to 
sign their canvases on their reverses 
in order to promote the spirit of 
anonymity. For Picasso, whose work 
was predominantly imbued with nar- 
rative, even autobiographical, ele- 
ments, Braque's presence inspired a 
temporary shift in sensibility. An 
emphasis on the morphological - as 
manifest in the simple geometric 
shapes found in still lifes and land- 
scapes - now prevailed in his paint- 
ing. 
230 There are only a few clues that facili- 
tate visual interpretation to be found 
in Landscape at Ceret: indications of 
archways on the left, a schematized 
flight of stairs in the center and the 
curtained window above it. Other- 
wise, the painting dissolves into a 
hermetic pattern of shifting, lu- 
minous planes interrupted by several 
vertical and horizontal lines that 
serve to anchor the fragmented com- 
position. Rooftops at Ceret (Collec- 
tion Mr. and Mrs. William Ac- 
quavella), a contemporaneous land- 
scape by Braque, contains more easi- 
ly decipherable architectural ele- 
ments, (n.s.) 



( )il oil canvas 

25*/»x 19 V* in. 

65.1 '50.3 cm. 

Solomon R im Museum 

New York 

m R Guggenheim 
37.538 




231 



232 



56 

Pablo Picasso 
The Poet 
/.<■ Poite 
August 1911 

Like The Accordionist in the collec- 
tion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, The Poet was painted dur- 
ing the summer of 1911 when Picas- 
so was working in close association 
with Braque in the French Pyrenees 
town of Ceret. Similar in style and 
composition to Braque's contem- 
poraneous Man with a Guitar (Collec- 
tion The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York), this canvas epitomizes a 
moment in the development of Ana- 
lytic Cubism when the degree of ab- 
straction was so extreme that objects 
in the painting are almost unrecog- 
nizable. 

As the title indicates, it is the human 
form that has been visually dissected 
and reconstructed as an architecture 
of rectilinear and curvilinear ele- 
ments. Despite the elusiveness of the 
visual clues, the viewer can detect a 
densely articulated central pyramidal 
figure fused coloristically and textur- 
ally with the less detailed ground. 
The small circle at the upper center 
of the canvas penetrated by the acme 
of a triangular plane becomes an eye 
when associated with the longer, 
broader plane of a possible nose and 



the crescents of a probable mous- 
tache. Once this recognition occurs, a 
complete image can be reconstituted 
by the inference of chin, pipe, neck, 
attenuated torso, elbows, chair arms. 
Picasso presents multiple views of 
each object, as if he had moved 
around it, and synthesizes them into 
a single compound image. The frag- 
mentation of the image encourages a 
reading of abstract rather than 
representational form. The imagined 
volumes of figure and object dissolve 
into non-objective organizations of 
line, plane, light and color. Inter- 
penetrating facets of forms floating 
in a shallow, indeterminate space are 
defined and shaded by luminous, 
hatched, almost Neo-Impressionist 
brushstrokes. The continuity of cer- 
tain lines through these facets cre- 
ates an illusion of a system of larger 
planes that also float in this in- 
definite space yet are securely an- 
chored within an architectonic struc- 
ture. The chromatic sobriety charac- 
teristic of works by Picasso and 
Braque in this period corresponds 
with the cerebral nature of the issues 
they address, (l.f.) 



Oil on . 

• 35 1 /-' in. 
cm. 

lection 




233 



234 



57 

Liubov Popova 

Landscape 

191415 

Like other Russian artists, Popova 
went to Paris, where she became 
familiar with the Cubists, and to Ita- 
ly, where she saw the work of the 
Futurists. Her Landscape clearly be- 
longs within the Cubo-Futurist style 
and was painted just before her 
breakthrough to non-objective art. 
In marked contrast to the practice of 
the French Cubists, Popova restricts 
her bright, bold colors to specific 
areas of the painting. Color defines 
compositional elements: purple blue 
in the sky, green in the grass, brown 
lor the earth, and gray blue for the 
buildings. Color zones remain dis- 
crete and the geometrical forms, 
which are modeled with distinctive 
white highlights, retain their three- 
dimensionality. Forms, unlike those 
in Cubist paintings, appear volumet- 
ric rather than fragmented. Popova's 
composition is dynamic and domi- 
nated by a central foreground config- 
uration, (v.e.b.) 



( )il on , 

106x69.5 cm. 

non R. Guggenheim Museum 
New ') 

( ieorge Cost 
81 2822 




235 



58 

Gino Severini 

Red Cross Train Passing a Village 

Train de la Croix Rouge traversant 

un village 

Summer 1915 

Severini and the other Futurists 
celebrate the beauty and dynamism 
of the machine and modern life in 
their paintings. The Futurists be- 
lieved that their work should be 
deeply involved with contemporary 
life, and thus sought to express their 
feelings about World War I in a ser- 
ies of war paintings or guerrapittura . 
To express an idea of war in Red 
Cross Train Passing a Village, Severini 
selected the train as a symbolic im- 
age. He painted this canvas (as well 
as another version in the Stedelijk 
Museum, Amsterdam) in the sum- 
mer of 1915 when he lived near a 
railroad line at Igny and could watch 
the trains going to and from the bat- 
tlefield with supplies, soldiers and 
the wounded. Severini's depiction of 
road and railway signals and his in- 
scription of numbers across the land- 
scape add new levels of meaning to 
236 the picture. 

Red Cross Train Passing a Village dis- 
plays the Futurist concern with move- 
ment. The small brushstrokes, though 
derived from Neo-Impressionism, 
seem to have been applied rapidly 
and are slanted in varying directions, 
thus conveying a vivid sense of mo- 
tion. The strong horizontal of the 
train cuts through the center of the 
composition. The feeling of its pow- 
er and speed is echoed and height- 
ened by the billowing white smoke 
and the shifting, sharp-edged trian- 
gular planes that fragment the land- 
scape, (v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 
35 x 45 '/4 in. 
88.9 x 116.2 cm. 

uin R Guggenheim Museum 
Wu York 




237 



59 

Marc Chagall 

Green Violinist 

Violoniste 

1923-24 

Chagall has returned often to the 
theme of the violinist. A similar 
figure appears in a large canvas from 
1912-13 in the Stedelijk Museum, 
Amsterdam, and in the mural panel 
Music, one of a series Chagall paint- 
ed in 1919-20 for the State Jewish 
Kamerny Theater in Moscow and 
now in the State Tretiakov Gallery 
there. Executed in Paris in 1923-24, 
the Guggenheim's Green Violinist 
was done from memory and from 
sketches Chagall had brought with 
him from Russia. 

The violinist personifies not just 
music but also the arts in general. 
Years later Chagall remembered he 
chose the green color of the vio- 
linist's face for "psychic and plastic" 
reasons and said that green is an ar- 
bitrary, poetic color. 1 (v.e.b.) 



1 Conversation with Margit Rowell, February 
1974. 



238 1920-1929 



Oil on canvas 
,'4 in. 
198 x 108.6 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

York 

S >lomon R. Guggenheim 
57. 446 




239 



60 

Theo van Doesburg 
( lounter-Composition XIII 
Contra-Compositw XIII 
1925-26 

About 1924 van Doesburg rebelled 
against Mondrian's programmatic in- 
sistence on the restriction of line to 
vertical and horizontal orientations, 
and produced his first Counter- 
Composition. The direction conse- 
quently taken by Neo-PIasticism was 
designated "Elementarism" by van 
Doesburg, who described its method 
of construction as "based on the neu- 
tralisation of positive and negative 
directions by the diagonal and, as far 
as color is concerned, by the dis- 
sonant. Equilibrated relations are 
not an ultimate result." 1 Mondrian 
considered this redefinition of Neo- 
PIasticism heretical; he was soon to 
resign from the De Stijl group. 
This canvas upholds the Neo-Plastic 
dictum of "peripheric" composition. 
The focus is decentralized and there 
are no empty, inactive areas. The ge- 
ometric planes are emphasized equal- 
ly, related by contrasts of color, scale 
240 and direction. One's eyes follow the 
trajectories of isosceles triangles and 
stray beyond the canvas to complete 
mentally the larger triangles sliced 
off by its edges. The placement of 
the vertical axis to the left of center 
and the barely off-square propor- 
tions of the support create a sense of 
shifting balance, (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in H.L.C. Jaffe, De Stijl, 1917-1931: 
The Dutch Contribution to Modern Art, Amster- 
dam, 1956, p. 26. 



Oil on canvas 

19 '/«« 19'/» in 

50 x 50 cm. 

Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 

76.25') •■ PG -11 




241 



L ■ - — 



61 

Max Ernst 
The Kiss 
Le Baiser 

1927 

I rom humorously clinical depictions 
of erotic events in the Dada period, 
such as Little Machine Constructed by 
Mittimax Dadamax in Person, 1919- 
20 (Peggy Guggenheim Collection, 
Venice), Ernst moved on to celebra- 
tions of uninhibited sexuality in his 
Surrealist works. His liaison and 
marriage with the young Marie- 
Berthe Aurenche in 1927 may have 
inspired the erotic subject matter of 
this painting and others of this year. 
The major compositional lines of this 
work may have been determined by 
the configurations of string that 
Ernst dropped on a preparatory sur- 
face, a procedure according with 
Surrealist notions of the importance 
of chance effects. However, Ernst 
used a coordinate grid system to 
transfer his string configurations to 
canvas, thus subjecting these chance 
effects to conscious manipulation. 
Visually, the technique produces un- 
242 dulating calligraphic rhythms, like 
those traced here against the glowing 
earth and sky colors. 
The centralized, pyramidal grouping 
and the embracing gesture of the up- 
per figure in The Kiss have lent them- 
selves to comparison with Renais- 
sance compositions, specifically the 
Madonna and Saint Anne by Leo- 
nardo da Vinci (Collection Musee 
National du Louvre, Paris). 1 The 
Leonardo work was the subject of a 
psychosexual interpretation by 
Freud, whose writings were impor- 
tant to Ernst and other Surrealists. 
The adaptation of a religious subject 
would add an edge of blasphemy to 
the exuberant lasciviousness of 
Ernst's picture, (l.f.) 

1 See. N. and E. Calas's interpretation of this 
work in The Peggy Guggenheim Collection of 
Modern Art, New York, 1966, pp. 112-113. 



( )il on 

161.2 cm. 

i-nhcim Coll 

I ■ 71 




243 



244 



62 

Alberto Giacomctti 

Spoon Woman 

Yemmecuiller 

1926 

For a short time in the mid- 1920s 
Giacometti experimented with Cub- 
ism; he soon developed his personal 
Cubist-sculptural style. In Spoon 
Woman he assimilates the Cubist in- 
novations of Lipchitz and Henri 
Laurens. Yet the work also reveals 
the influence of primitive art and 
Surrealism. There are clear similari- 
ties to Cycladic sculpture and to cer- 
tain formal characteristics of African 
sculpture - such as the equivalence 
of convexity and concavity and ar- 
bitrary figure proportions - which 
had already been absorbed into 
Cubist sculpture itself. However, 
the enlargement of the female torso 
into an oversized, spoon-like hollow, 
with its inverted reference to preg- 
nancy, foreshadows Giacometti's 
brilliant explorations during the 
later 1920s and 1930s of a Surrealist 
world arising from subconscious 
dreams and emotions, (v.e.b.) 



Bronze 
57 in. 

cm high 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 
5V1414 




245 



63 

Vasily Kandinsky 
In the Black Square 
Im ichwarzen Viereck 
June 1923 

Easel paintings Kandinsky executed 
in the Weimar period, such as In the 
Black Square, reveal the influence 
that the Bauhaus commitment to ge- 
ometric form and structure had on 
his non-objective style. In this work 
transparent and overlapping geomet- 
ric shapes are confined to the surface 
of a white trapezoid that recedes 
into the space suggested by the 
painting's black border. The oblique 
perspective created by the tilted 
trapezoid produces a powerful di- 
agonal tension, which is emphasized 
by the prominence of the corners of 
the composition and by the sharply 
slanted lines within the central field. 
This tension is further enhanced by 
the contrasts between pointed and 
rounded forms, sharp colors and 
black and white, and smooth and 
mottled surfaces. With its triangles, 
circles and lines darting into and out 
of one another, the picture possesses 
246 a remarkable dynamism and is a 
prime example of the artist's ability 
to create rigorously geometric com- 
positions using the most basic pic- 
torial forms, (s.b.ii.) 



Oil on a 

»3 cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

lomon R. Guggenheim 




247 



64 

Vasily Kandinsky 
1 )eep Brown 
Tiefes Braun 
April-June 1924 

When Kandinsky returned to Russia 
in late 1914 after the outbreak of 
World War 1, his expressive abstract 
style underwent changes that reflect- 
ed the artistic experiments of the 
young Russian avant-garde. The 
prevalent emphasis on strictly geo- 
metric forms, promoted by artists 
such as Malevich, Alexander Rod- 
chenko and Popova in an effort to 
establish a universal, aesthetic lan- 
guage, inspired Kandinsky to expand 
his own pictorial vocabulary. Al- 
though he adopted certain aspects of 
the geometrizing trends of Suprem- 
atism and Constructivism, Kan- 
dinsky continued to advocate subjec- 
tive expression over the more 
mechanical and utilitarian sensibili- 
ties advanced by these movements. 
In a 1921 interview, Kandinsky ar- 
ticulated his disappointment with 
the attitudes of contemporary Rus- 
sian artists: "It is said that in art it 
248 is not necessary and even dangerous 
to have intuition. This is the point of 
view of a few young painters who 
push the materialistic viewpoint to 
absurdity." ' 

At the Weimar Bauhaus, where Kan- 
dinsky took up residence as profes- 
sor of wall painting, analytical draw- 
ing and theory of form in June 1922, 
he found a more sympathetic en- 
vironment in which to pursue his art. 
Here he initiated investigations into 
the correspondence between colors 
and forms and their psychologi- 
cal/spiritual effects, initially pro- 
posed in his Uber das Geistige in der 
Kunst of 1911 and further elaborated 
in Punkt und Linie zu Flache (Point 
and Line to Plane) of 1926. Deep 
Brown may be read as one of Kan- 
dinsky's formal experiments, com- 
pleted after the Weimar Bauhaus 
closed, that involved the interaction 
of color combinations, geometric 
shapes, dynamic lines and the pic- 
ture plane and their emotionally 
evocative properties, (n.s.) 

mdimky: Complete Writing on Art, eds. 
K ( Lindsay and P. Vergo, vol. I, Boston, 
1982, p 476. 



Oil on > 
32 '/4 x 28 > in 
72.7 cm. 
Solomon R (luggenheim Museum 
York 




249 



65 

Vasily Kandinsky 

Several ( lircles 

e Kreise 
January-February 1926 

From the dark gray, amorphous, 
nebular environment emerges a pri- 
mary form - the large dark blue cir- 
cle surrounded by a corona. A black 
disc is enclosed within the larger 
blue one and their circumferences 
meet at a tangent. From this matrix 
many colored circles are successively 
generated. They resemble transpar- 
ent gels. Those circles that overlap 
with others change color where they 
intersect. 

The circle is the most elementary 
form. Kandinsky wrote that "the cir- 
cle is the synthesis of the greatest op- 
positions. It combines the concentric 
and the eccentric in a single form, 
and in equilibrium." 1 
For Kandinsky the circle represents 
a development in cosmic evolution 
parallel to that of spirit taking the 
form of matter, (v.e.b.) 



1 Quoted in W. Grohmann, Wassily Kan- 
250 dimky: Life and Work, New York, 1958, p. 
188. 



Oil on ( 
55 l /«*55 7l 

cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
York 
lolomon R Guggenheim 




251 



252 



66 

Paul Klee 

In the Current Six Thresholds 

/;/ der Stromung sechs Schwe/len 

1929 

hi the Current Six Thresholds is excep- 
tional in Klee's oeuvre for its austeri- 
ty and monumentality, its restrained 
mathematical organization and its 
dark palette of red and black tonali- 
ties. As one of the horizontal band 
paintings Klee executed attcr his trip 
to Egypt in the winter of 1928-29, In 
the Current Six Thresholds bears a dis- 
tinct relationship to Monument on 
the Edge oj Fertile Country, 1929. 
With reference to the latter Klee 
wrote: "I am painting a landscape 
somewhat like the view of the fertile 
country from the distant mountains 
of the Valley of the Kings. The poly- 
phonic interplay between earth and 
atmosphere has been kept as fluid as 
possible." 1 These paintings are 
characterized by horizontal bands 
divided into halves, quarters, eighths 
and then sixteenths as they proceed 
from right to left and are crossed by 
verticals. (v.E.B.) 

1 Quoted in W. Grohmann, Paul Klcc, New 
York, 195-4, p. 275. 



ud tempera on canvas 
17 7* * 17'/l 

43.5 cm. 

ion R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 




253 



254 



67 

1 ernand L6ger 

Woman I lolding a Vase 
Femme tenant tine vase 
1927 

an Holding a Vase is an out- 
standing example of Leger's attempt 
to treat human figures with the same 
plasticity as objects or machines. The 
arms, the hands, the hair, the breast 
are all translated into inanimate 
"values of plastic form." The woman 
is no longer a figure but an architec- 
ture of forms. The interpenetration 
of woman and vase within an unde- 
fined space produces a monumental 
image. 

There are two other extremely simi- 
lar versions of Woman Holding a 
Vase: one dated 1924 is in the Statens 
Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, 
and another dated 1924-27 is in the 
Kunstmuseum Basel. Leger indicat- 
ed that the Guggenheim painting is 
the final version (etat definitif). 
(v.e.b.) 



Oil on canvas 
■• 

- cm. 
non R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 




255 



68 

Louis Marcoussis 

The Regular 

L'Habitue 

1920 

In this Synthetic Cubist work ol 
1920. Marcoussis presents a hieratic 
figure immobilized by habit, so 
much .i part of his environment that 
he is barely distinguishable from it. 
Familiar Cubist motifs and effects 
arc integrated in a strong, complex 
composition in which abstract and 
representational elements are har- 
monized. Sand, stippled paint and im- 
itation wood grain lend texture to 
the broad, angular planes that or- 
ganize the picture space. The large 
proportions of the canvas increase 
the impact of the architectonic struc- 
ture of planes. Blocks of color echo 
and respond to one another to estab- 
lish balanced relationships over the 
entire surface. 

The limits of abstraction are tested 
in the treatment of the figure, which 
would not be recognizable without 
the humanizing details indicating 
face and head - the schematic eyes, 
256 nose, mustache, furrowed brow, ci- 
gar, hat. The right hand is merely a 
strip of modulated cylinders, the left 
only slightly more articulated with 
fingernails. The only naturalistically 
described objects are the dominoes 
on the table, which, unlike the hu- 
man form, would be unidentifiable if 
they were distorted. Like letters, 
they are signs with unchangeable 
meanings that can be combined in 
various ways to produce larger mean- 
ings. Similarly, parts of a Cubist pic- 
ture have an intrinsic, independent 
significance that is expanded and 
complicated when they are related 
within an ordered composition. 
(L.F.) 



( )il with - -i i it I .mil pebbles 

- 
97 cm. 
Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
76.2553 PG 22 




257 



The rilled Field 
rem laboured 

eld, which was begun in 
■ in during the summer of 1923 
and completed in 1'aris the following 
winter, marks the emergence of 
Miro's mature style. The new flat- 
ness of the spatial implications, the 
structural division into three hori- 
zontal arc. is and the new richness of 
imagery demonstrate significant de- 
velopments in his style since Prades, 
the Village of 1917 (Collection Solo- 
mon R. Guggenheim Museum) or 
The Farm of 1921-22 (Collection 
Mrs. Ernest Hemingway). While the 
theme of plowed fields continues in 
Miro's painting, the subject has be- 
come visionary: a vision of a super- 
natural world, a realm of dream and 
imagination. The appearance of bi- 
omorphism with the isolated eye and 
ear, the juxtaposition of a folded 
newspaper and a lizard wearing a 
conic cap, the stylization of the fig 
tree at the left and the pine tree at 
258 the right where the cone is covered 
with eyes are examples of Surrealist 
devices. Miro drew upon Catalan 
Medieval art as well as contemporary 
Surrealist works to create his "own 
unified poetic vision." 1 (v.e.b.) 

1 M. Rowell and RE. Krauss, ]oan Miro: Mag- 
netic Fields, exh. cat., New York, 1972, no. 1. 



Oil on i 

7 cm. 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 




259 



70 

loan Miro 
Dutch Interior II 
Interieur bollandais 

Slimmer 1928 

In 1928 Miro returned to Paris from 
a trip to the Netherlands with sever- 
al postcard reproductions of works 
by seventeenth-century Dutch art- 
ists. At least two of these have been 
identified as sources for the Dutch 
Intent)) paintings in The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, 1 and the 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection. 2 The 
Guggenheim work is a transforma- 
tion of Jan Steen's The Dancing Les- 
son (Collection Rijksmuseum, Am- 
sterdam),' and conveys the synthesis 
of carefully observed, precisely ex- 
ecuted detail and imaginative gener- 
alization of form that proceeded 
from Miro's encounter with the 
Dutch Baroque. In this combination 
of objective minutiae and abstract 
vision, Dutch Interior II reverts con- 
ceptually to works of the early 
1920s, such as The Tilled Field (cat. 
no. 69). 

The gradual translation of veristic 
260 detail into eccentric, evocative form 
can be followed through preliminary 
sketches of specific motifs to a 
meticulously complete preparatory 
drawing. A conspicuous modifica- 
tion of the Dutch original is Miro's 
enlargement of and focus on human 
and animal figures and his concomi- 
tant suppression or deemphasis of in- 
animate objects. Thus a window at 
the upper center of the Steen has 
been greatly reduced in size, as 
though it had been sent hurtling 
through a vast space. The real sub- 
ject of the Steen is not the cat, but 
the sound, movement and hilarity 
the dancing lesson provokes. Miro 
seizes on this anomaly in his version: 
although the cat serves as the hub of 
his centrifugal composition, he em- 
phasizes the cacophony and anima- 
tion of the lesson through the 
swirling motion of myriad details 
and the dancing rhythm of points 
and counterpoints, (l.f.) 

1 Repr. Rudenstine, 1985, p. 544, fig. h. 

2 See W. Erbcn, Joan Miro, New York, 1957, 
pp. 125127. 

3 Repr. Rudenstine, 1985, p. 542, fig. a. 



Oil on canvas 
36'/'*28 7< in. 

I cm 

Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
76 255? PC. 92 




261 



262 



71 

Pablo Picasso 

Mandolin and C i nit ar 

192-4 

During the summers of 1924 and 
1925 Picasso painted at least nine 
e colorful still lifes with an essen- 
liallv similar motif: an arrangement 
of objects on a centrally situated ta- 
bic in front of an open window. This 
theme appeared lor the first time in 
a group of drawings and watercolors 
Picasso did at Saint-Raphael in 1919 
when he first summered on the Cote 
d'Azur. 

The Guggenheim canvas is struc- 
tured by means of flat color areas 
and decorative patterns. Its pictorial 
organization also depends upon the 
curved contours of the still-life ar- 
rangement and the linear division of 
the floor and background wall. The 
bold, bright colors, the lively pat- 
terns of the tablecloth and the sky 
and clouds glimpsed through the 
window contribute essentially to the 
picture's vitality. (v.E.B.) 



Oil with sand on canvas 
• 

t cm. 
ion R. Guggenheim Museum 
- ork 
53.1358 




263 



12 

Pablo Picasso 

The Studio 

U Atelier 

1928 



264 



From 1927 to 1929 Picasso elaborat- 
ed a complex discourse on the activity 
of the artist through the theme ol the 
Studio. Among the variations in the 
series, the closest to the present ex- 
ample is The Studio of 1927-28 (Col- 
lection The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York). 1 Both works share the 
vivid palette of Synthetic Cubism, 
limited to draw attention to a con- 
spicuous and authoritative facture in 
planar areas. This painterliness con- 
trasts with the geometricized, wire- 
like contours that define the figures 
in the manner of Picasso's contem- 
poraneous wire sculpture. 
The figures in the Guggenheim The 
Studio can be identified as a sculp- 
tured bust (at the left) and a full- 
length painted portrait (to the right). 
By depicting artistic representations 
ol humans in a highly schematized 
form, Picasso places the figures at 
several removes from the world of 
living beings. He relies on the view- 
er's willingness to believe in the real- 
ity of depicted objects, however ab- 
stract, and to imagine a human ex- 
change or relationship between the 



male and female forms. Like the art- 
ist in The Museum of m Modern Art 
version, the bust has three eyes; this 
may reflect Picasso's personal iden- 
tification with the work of art. 
Picasso's development of the theme 
of the artist's perception of himself 
and his subjects can be traced from 
his etching of 1927, Painter with a 
Model Knitting, in which a realistical- 
ly drawn artist paints a fantastic and 
abstract portrait of a very ordinary 
woman. The artist becomes an ab- 
stract sign in The Studio at the Muse- 
um of Modern Art and disappears, 
or is at least submerged, in the The 
Studio in the Peggy Guggenheim 
Collection. He reappears in Painter 
and Model, also of 1928 (Collection 
The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York), as a figure that is even more 
difficult to detect, yet nonetheless 
is engaged in painting a relatively 
realistic profile. The theme of the in- 
teraction of reality and illusion ex- 
plored here was a central concern for 
Picasso throughout his life, (l.f.) 

1 Repr. Rudenstine, 1985, p. 620, fig. c. 



Oil and crayon on i 

9 cm. 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection 




265 



73 

[can Arp 

Constellation with Five White 

I in ins and Two Black, Variation III 

tcllation mix cinq formes blanches 
ct deux noires, Variation 111 
1932 

Arp first made a painted wood relict 
in 1914; he designed an abstract 
relief two years later. The wit, vitali- 
t\ and bright contrasting color of his 
Surrealist work have been replaced 
here by formal purity, restraint and 
precision ol natural forms. Reduc- 
tion of color to white and black em- 
phasizes the flat wood shapes su- 
perimposed on the wood back- 
ground. 

Arp's three Constellations, of which 
the Guggenheim's is the third varia- 
tion, contain identical elements in 
different positions. The two black 
forms placed at the left here were 
positioned at the top center in Varia- 
tion I (Collection Munson-Williams- 
Proctor Institute, Ithaca, New York) 
and shifted to the right in Variation 

II (Private Collection). Each Constel- 
lation is a cluster of disparate objects 

266 which form a system yet are held 19o0— 19o" 

apart from one another by the inter- 
action of natural forces, (v.e.b.) 



oil on wood 

:;cnheim Museum 
York 
55.1437 




267 



74 

Jean Arp 

I lead and Shell 

Tite ft coquille 
ca 1933 



268 



Arp's transition from his painted 
wooden wall rcliels of the 1920s to 
this freestanding sculpture of the 
1930s (see cat. no. 75) occurred 
about 1930. At this time he executed 
some freestanding reliefs, which 
rested either on carved bases or 
directly on the ground (for example, 
Shell Profiles, 1930, Private Collec- 
tion, Switzerland). Biomorphic ele- 
ments like those attached to the wall 
reliefs gradually separated into in- 
dependent forms and assumed posi- 
tions in fully three-dimensional en- 
sembles, such as Bell and Navels, 
1931 (Collection The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York). When, in 
1931, Arp began sculpting wood and 
modeling plaster in the round, he 
made figurative torsos. He next em- 
barked on a series of abstract forms 
called Concretions, usually carved in 
plaster and some later cast in bronze. 
These sculptures, such as Human 
Concretion, 1934 (Collection Musee 
National d'Art Moderne, Centre 
Georges Pompidou, Paris), suggest 
general processes of growth, crystal- 
lization and metamorphosis, rather 
than specific motifs drawn from na- 
ture. The present sculpture shares 
the bulbous, protuberant character 
of the Concretions, its curved and 
coiled base expressing the spontane- 
ous energy of pullulation. 
Head and Shell, however, is not one 
continuous form but two separable 
elements. A spike attached to the 



base section supports the upper por- 
tion, which may easily.be removed. 
Both conceptually and physically, 
this work is a unit composed of dis- 
crete parts. 1 The object's small size 
and its partite nature suggest that 
Arp intended the original plaster 
version to be handled. During the 
1930s, the artist produced several 
small works made of multiple ele- 
ments that the viewer could pick up, 
separate and rearrange into new con- 
figurations. Peggy Guggenheim's fas- 
cination with this cast of the plaster 
original arose from her delight in han- 
dling the small sculture. 2 
Arp's titles, such as Head and Shell or 
Metamorphosis: Shell-Swan (Collec- 
tion Solomon R. Guggenheim Mu- 
seum), suggest counterparts in nature 
for his ambiguous organic forms. 
Such titles should not be considered 
too literally, however, as they were 
no doubt inspired by the completed 
sculptures. As Arp explains his work- 
ing process, "Each of these bodies has 
a definite significance, but it is only 
when I feel there is nothing more to 
change that I decide what each means, 
and it is only then that I give it a 
name." ' (e.c.c.) 



1 Rudenstine, 1985, p. 70. 

2 P. Guggenheim, Out of This Century: Confes- 
sions of an Art Addict, New York, 1979, p. 162. 
! J. Arp, "Germe d'une Nouvelle Sculpture," 
jours effeuillcs. Poemes, essais, souvenirs. 1920- 
1965, preface by Marcel Jean, Paris, 1966. p. 
323. Author's translation. 



Polished br-is-., 2 parts 
total 7 V 4 x * 
• 22.5 cm. 
Guggenheim Collection 

Venice 
762553 PG 54 




269 



75 
Jean Arp 

A-th 

Ct\ 

Perhaps mure than any other oi tin. 
artist's modes of expression, the free 
forms of Arp's sculpture-in-the- 

round illustrate one of his basic be- 
liefs: "art is a fruit growing out of 
man like the fruit out of a plant like 
the child out of the mother." ' Arp's 
devotion to abstraction did not de- 
rive from formalist ideals; on the 
contrary, his commitment was to an 
art that was spontaneous, sensual 
and irrational, like birth or growth 
or any other natural process. 
His first free-standing sculpture, ex- 
ecuted in 1931, was a rhythmically 
deformed human torso in marble. 
Growth of 1938, with its rhythmic 
curves, writhing movement and up- 
ward thrust, could be considered a 
later development of the same 
theme. More exactly, it might be de- 
fined as the concrete configuration 
of an organic entity that is neither 
vegetal nor animal in origin. 
270 There exist several other versions of 
Growth dated 1938: a slightly larger 
marble (Collection Sidney Janis, 
New York) and three bronze casts, 
one of which is in the Philadelphia 
Museum of Art. (v.e.b.) 

'J. Arp, "Notes from a Diarv," Transition, no. 
21, March 1932, p. 191. 



Marble 
in. 

80.3 cm. high 

Solomon R. Guggenheim 

New \ 




271 



76 

Max Bcckmann 

Paris Society 

( teselbcbaft Paris 

1931 

Parti Society dates primarily irom 
1931 when Beckmann was in Frank- 
lin t and Paris during the winter. 
1 [owever, its conception originated 
as early as 1925, and the artist re- 
worked the canvas in Amsterdam in 
1947. Fifteen people are presented 
in a room with mirrors on the rear 
wall; two small background figures 
and the large chandelier are actually 
reflections of activity taking place in 
front of the picture plane. Not only 
the compressed space but also the 
bold, black outlines create tensions 
within the picture. 
Although the figures are not por- 
traits, certain individuals can be 
identified. In the center is Beck- 
mann's friend Prince Rohan; a draw- 
ing for this figure dated October 30, 
1931, is in the collection of Cather- 
ine Viviano, New York. The Ger- 
man ambassador in Paris, Leopold 
von Hoesch, is depicted with his 
272 hands covering his face at the right. 
The character as well as the title of 
the picture assumed its present form 
in 1931. ' (v.e.b.) 



1 Information supplied by Mathilde Q. Beck- 
mann in correspondence with the author, Mav 
1979. 



175.6 cm. 

Guggenheim Museum 
New 'i 




273 



77 

nstantin Brancusi 
Bird in Space 

1 < < 
L93; 

The development ol the bird theme 
Brancusi's oeuvre can be traced 
:i its appearance in the Maiastra 
sculptures (see cat. no. 2), through 
tin.- Golden Bird group and, finally, 
to the Bird in Space series. Sixteen 
imples of the Bird in Space se- 
quence, dating from 1923 to 1940, 
have been identified. The stream- 
lined lorm of the present Bird in 
Space stripped ol individualizing 
Features, communicates the notion 
of flight itself rather than describing 
the appearance of a particular bird. 
A vestige of the open beak of the 
Maiastra is retained in the beveled 
top of the tapering form, a slanted 
edge accelerating the upward move- 
ment of the whole. 
This bronze, closely related to a mar- 
ble version completed in 1931 (Col- 
lection Kunsthaus Zurich), could 
have been cast as early as 1932 and 
finished in 1940. ' Though the shaft 
274 of the first Bird in Space (Private Col- 
lection, New York) was mounted on 
a discrete conical support, the sup- 
port of the present example is incor- 
porated as an organically irregular 
stem, providing an earthbound an- 
chor for the sleek, soaring form. 
As was customary in Brancusi's 
work, the bronze is smoothed and 
polished to the point where the 
materiality of the sculpture is dis- 
solved in its reflective luminosity. 
Brancusi's spiritual aspirations, his 
longing for transcendence of the 
materia] world and its constraints, 
are verbalized in his description of 
the Bird in Space as a "project before 
being enlarged to fill the vault of the 
sky." 2 (l.F.) 

1 See Rudenstine, 1985, pp. 124-125. 

Hited in S. Geist, Brancusi: A Study of the 
Sculpture, New York, 1968, pp. 115-114. 



iKri 

Venice 

G 51 




275 



78 

Alexander Calder 

Standing Mobile 

Late L930s 01 early 1940s 

I don'l know whether it was the 
moving toys in the circus which got 
me interested in the idea of motion 
as an art lorm or whether it was my 
training in engineering at Stevens," 
explained Calder about the evolu- 
tion of his mobiles. 1 At Stevens In- 
ititute ot Technology he studied 
mechanical drawing, descriptive ge- 
ometry, drafting, mechanical en- 
gineering and applied kinetics. The 
description of the kinetics class in 
the 1919 course catalogue includes 
technical problems that emerged as 
essential components of Calder's 
moving sculptures: "Discussion of 
the laws governing the plane motions 
of rigid bodies... compound and tor- 
sion pendulums, translating and 
rotating bodies..." 2 While Calder's 
professional background inspired the 
methods with which he composed 
and constructed his sculptures, his 
capricious personality - combined 
with firsthand knowledge of Arp's 
276 ar) d Miro's formal vocabulary - lies 
behind the whimsical, abstract quali- 
ty of his work. 

Calder's standing mobiles - a hybrid 
form of freely hanging parts and an 
abstract, sculptural base - antedate 
his ceiling mobiles. They evolved 
from the artist's desire to create out- 
door kinetic pieces powered by the 
wind. The three-pronged base of 
Standing Mobile is painted red, blue 
and yellow and is, perhaps, an 
homage to Calder's friend Mondri- 
an. The mobile elements are sus- 
pended from a curved wire attached 
to the bottom of the base by a large 
metal hook. The small mobile units 
are counterbalanced by a flat metal 
disk, to which is attached a lead 
weight at the opposite end of the 
wire. When the wire bobs up and 
down, the small, metal disks vibrate 
gently in the air. (n.s.) 

' Quoted in J. Lipman, Calder's Universe, exh 
cat., New York, 1976, p. 263. 
p 18. 



Painted metal 

51 '/.' x 17 '/^ x 21 in 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 

The 1 1 ilia R 



277 



idor Dall 
Untitled 



278 



Dalf's Surrealist landscape combines 
meticulous optical realism with an 
ition ol irrational detail in 
enigmatic contexts, a style lie justi- 
fied as follows: "My whole ambi- 
tion... is to materialize the images of 
concrete irrationality with the most 
imperialist fury of precision. - In 
order that the world of the imagina- 
.ind of concrete irrationality 
may be as objectively evident, ol the 
same consistency, of the same dura- 
bility, of the same persuasive cog- 
noscible and communicable thick- 
ness as that of the exterior world of 
phenomenal reality." 1 
This landscape relates to a series of 
paintings from 1930-31 of nude or 
draped figures, whose bodies are 
often partially composed of shells 
and pebbles. These figures appear on 
rocky, desolate beaches which may 
be inspired by Dalf's native Ca- 
daques. The high horizon lines, 
broad expanses of empty space, pre- 
cisely rendered detail and palettes of 
restricted tonalities of these pictures 
all reveal the influence of Tanguy's 
style on Dali. Unlike Tanguy's ab- 
stract biomorphic forms, however, 
Dalf's imagery is identifiable. In the 
present example the woman, whose 
body is cropped at the hips, crypti- 
cally turns away from the viewer, 
offering only a view of her back and 
of her head, which is hollowed into 



a concavity that overflows with sea 
shells and rocks. Her rib cage serves 
as a plattorm for a collection of small 
pebbles, and the remnants of her 
hair have congealed into a solid, un- 
dulating mass. Dali charges the scene 
with erotic implications: the nude's 
wrist is tied to a feeble branch by a 
thin dangling rope; on the horizon a 
faceless white figure peeps tentatively 
from a hiding place among the rocks. 
Dalf's substitution of shells for the 
woman's head and hair may relate 
to personal experience. When his 
father banished him from the family, 
Dali shaved his head, buried the hair 
with empty sea-urchin shells and 
climbed into the nearby hills of Ca- 
daques to meditate on the landscape 
of his youth. 2 The distant figure's 
contemplation of the beach from a 
rocky viewpoint may resonate with 
Dalf's memories of emotional trau- 
ma. But such imagery is, at most, 
only partly autobiographical, and 
carries the broader themes of isola- 
tion, unfulfillment, sexual longing 
and metamorphosis through imagi- 
nation found in Dalf's landscapes of 
this period. 5 (e.c.c.) 

1 Quoted in W. Rubin, Dada, Surrealism, and 
Their Heritage, exh. cat., New York, 1968, p. 
111. 

2 S. Dali, La Vie Secrete de Salvador Dali, Paris, 
1952, pp. 196-197. 

1 See Rudenstine, 1985, pp. 195-196. 



( )il on i 

Guggenheim Collection 




279 



280 



so 

Robert Delaunay 
( Circular Forms 
/ ormei circulairei 

Around L930 Delaunay returned to 
the abstract circular forms so preva- 
lent in his work oi L913. He first 
represented the disc in the sky of a 

landscape and by 1913 this 
shape had become the subject of can- 
vases entitled Sun and Moon. 
Circular forms presents two distinct 
foci with overlapping circular bands 
of color, primarily red, blue and yel- 
low Where the bands intersect, the 
color changes. The right half ol the 
canvas, showing concentric circles 
divided into eight segments on 
which discs are superimposed, is a 
kaleidoscopic fragmentation of the 
left half. Delaunay's investigation of 
schematic concentric circles con- 
tinued in the 1930s with relief sculp- 
ture and paintings of the Rhythm 
series, (v.i ,B I 



■ 76 V-i in. 

genheim Museum 
York 
-4') 1184 




281 



81 

Paul Delvaux 
The Break of Day 
L 'Aurore 

July 1937 

Like His compatriot Magritte, Del- 
i\ applied a fastidious, detailed 
technique to scenes deriving their 
impact from unsettling incongruities 
of subject. Influenced by de Chirico, 
he frequently included classicizing 
details and used perspectival distor 
tion to create rapid, plunging move- 
ment from foreground to deep back- 
ground. Unique to Delvaux is the si- 
lent, introspective cast of figures he 
developed during the mid-1930s. 
His formidable, buxom nude or 
seminude women pose immobile 
with unfocused gazes, their arms 
frozen in rhetorical gestures, dom- 
inating a world through which men, 
preoccupied and timid, unobtrusive- 
ly make their way. 
Although the fusion of woman and 
tree in the present picture invites 
comparison with Greek mythological 
subjects, the artist has insisted that 
no such references were intended. 1 
282 The motif of the mirror appears in 
1936 in works such as Woman in 
a Grotto (Collection Thyssen-Bor- 
nemisza, Lugano) and The Mirror 
(formerly Collection Roland Pen- 
rose, London; destroyed during 
World War II). In The Break of Day 
a new element is introduced; the 
reflected figure is not present within 
the scene, but exists outside the can- 
vas field. She is, therefore, in some 
sense, the viewer, even if that viewer 
should happen to be male. The irony 
of the circumstance in which a 
clothed male viewer could see him- 
self reflected as a nude female torso 
would have particularly appealed to 
Duchamp, who appropriated the de- 
tail of the mirror in his collage of 
1942, In the Manner of Delvaux (Col- 
lection Vera and Arturo Schwarz, 
Milan). 2 (] 

1 Rudenstine, 1985, p. 216 
2 Repr. Ibid., p. 217. 



47'/4x597< in. 

■nhcim Collection 




283 



Max Ernst 
Zoomorphic Couple 
Couple zoomorphe 
L933 

By 1925 Ernst had developed his 
frottage (rubbing) technique, which 
he associated with a childhood me- 
mory of accidental forms materializ- 
ing within the grooves of wooden 
floor boards. He also acknowledged 
the influence of his later discovery of 
Leonardo's Treatise on Painting, in 
which artists are advised to gaze at 
the stains on walls until figures and 
scenes emerge. In the Hordes series 
of 1926 to 1932 Ernst placed twine 
beneath his canvases and then 
rubbed pigment over their surfaces. 
The meanderings of the twine were 
thus revealed; these chance configu- 
rations were then manipulated to 
elicit imagery. In Zoomorphic Cou- 
ple, the appearance of light, sinuous 
channels through dark painted areas 
produces a relieflike effect sugges- 
tive of frottage. However, the artist 
created the effect here by putting 
paint-laden string or rope on top of 
2g4 the canvas and spraying over it. 1 
The image of the bird, which recurs 
frequently in Ernst's work from 
1925, had become an almost obses- 
sive preoccupation by 1930. In the 
present painting one can discern a 
vaguely birdlike form and a caressing 
humanoid arising from the primordi- 
al material that gives them their sub- 
stance. It has been suggested that 
the atavistic imagery in Ernst's work 
of this period alludes to the failure of 
European civilization in the face of 
the rising National Socialist threat in 
Germany. 2 (Ernst was blacklisted 
by the party in 1933 when Hitler be- 
came Chancellor of the Third 
Reich.) Though a sensitivity to the 
current political climate may be in- 
ferred, it is not confirmed by anec- 
dotal detail. The forms have the ef- 
fect of dream or poetic apparition. 
The sense of genesis and evolution- 
ary stirrings in Zoomorphic Couple is 
complemented by the creative in- 
ventiveness of the artist, who com- 
bines layers of pastel color under 
spattered, blown and dripped paint. 
H i 

1 Rudenstine, 1985. p. 299. 

M. Schneede. Max Ernst, New York and 
: on, 1972, p. 134. 



Oil on i 

cm. 

(jujyjcnhci; 




285 



83 

Alberto Giacometti 

Woman with I Icr Throat Cut 

/ emtne egorgee 

1932 (cast 1940) 

In a group of works made between 
1930 and 1933, Giacometti used the 
Surrealist techniques of shocking 
juxtaposition and the distortion and 
displacement of anatomical parts to 
express the fears and urges of the 
subconscious. The aggressiveness 
with which the human figure is treat- 
id in these fantasies of brutal erotic 
assault graphically conveys their con- 
tent. The female, seen in horror and 
longing as both victim and victimizer 
of male sexuality, is often a crusta- 
cean or insectlike form. 
Woman with Her Throat Cut is a par- 
ticularly vicious image: the body is 
splayed open, disemboweled, arched 
in a paroxysm of sex and death. Eros 
and Thanatos, seen here as a single 
theme, are distinguished and treated 
separately in two preparatory sketches 
(Collection Musee National d'Art 
Moderne, Centre Georges Pom- 
pidou, Paris). ' 
286 Body parts are translated into 
schematic abstract forms like those in 
Cageoi 1930-31 (Collection Moderna 
Museet, Stockholm), which includes 
the spoon shape of the female torso, 
the rib and backbone motif and the 
pod shape of the phallus. Here a vege- 
tal form resembling the pelvic bone 
terminates one arm, and a phallus- 
like spindle, the only movable part, 
gruesomely anchors the other; the 
woman's backbone pins one leg by 
fusing with it; her slit carotid im- 
mobilizes her head. The memory of 
violence is frozen in the rigidity of 
rigor mortis. The psychological tor- 
ment and the sadistic misogyny 
projected by this sculpture are in 
startling contrast to the serenity of 
other contemporaneous pieces by 
Giacometti, such as Woman Walking 
(cat. no. 84). (l.f.) 

1 Repr. Rudestine, 1985, p. 344, fig. b. 



Bronze 

(iuggenheim Collection 
- 131 




287 



84 

Alberto Giacometti 

Woman Walking 
/ emme qui marche 

This sculpture is conceived in the ra- 
tional and formally serene mode Gia- 
cometti pursued concurrently with 
his dark Surrealist explorations of 
the subconscious. 

Woman Walking has none of the 
ferocity ol Woman with Her Throat 
Cut (cat. no. 83), though both works 
were executed during the same peri- 
od. The graceful, calm bronze seems 
to have its source in the frontal 
figures of ancient Egypt, posed with 
left feet slightly ahead of right in 
fearless confrontation of death. 
Despite the pose, the Woman Walk- 
ing, like its Egyptian ancestors, con- 
veys no sense of movement. The 
plane of the body is only slightly in- 
flected by the projections of breasts, 
belly and thighs. The long, thin legs 
are smooth, solid and columnar. In 
its flatness, the work evokes the tra- 
ditions of the highly simplified Cy- 
cladic figure and the geometric 
288 Kouros of archaic Greece. Giacomet- 
ti is known to have copied works of 
art at the Louvre, during his travels 
and even from reproductions, show- 
ing a preference for models charac- 
terized by a high degree of styliza- 
tion. Woman Walking also reflects 
Giacometti's awareness of twentieth- 
century sculptors, particularly Bran- 
cusi and Archipenko. The generali- 
zation and distortion of form in 
these works forecast Giacometti's 
development of the elongated style 
for which he is best known, (l.f.) 



high 

_t.nheim Collection 

1)) 




289 



85 

Vasil) Kandinsky 
\' inlt-t ( )range 
October l l H5 

As mi mam ot Kandinsky's canvases 
- Variottl Parts, 1940 (Collection 
Ntadtische Galerie im Lcnbachhaus, 
Munich), Various Actions and Red 
Accent (cat. nos. 107, 109) to name- 
only a few - the composition of 
Violet-Orange is divided into in- 
dependent floating elements, which 
include a miniature "picture within a 
picture." This structural strategy is 
first evident in a 1929 painting aptly 
titled Picture Within a Picture (Col- 
lection TC). In Violet-Orange, the 
black vertical rectangle in the upper 
center appears as a separate entity, 
containing its own constellation of 
moving parts: falling ladder, curving 
rainbow, sashes of color and other 
forms. 

Kandinsky employed this composi- 
tional device to enforce spatial rela- 
tionships and the illusion of three- 
dimensionality within his canvases. 
It was his desire that the viewer feel 
compelled, by virtue of layered 
290 planes and seemingly recessive space, 
to mentally enter the paintings. "For 
many years," claimed Kandinsky in 
his autobiographical Reminiscences, 
"I have sought the possibility of let- 
ting the viewer 'stroll' within the 
picture, forcing him to become ab- 
sorbed in the picture, forgetful of 
himself." ' (n.S.) 

' Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, eds. 
K.C. Lindsay and P. Vergo, vol. I, Boston. 
1982, p. 369. 



Oil on ( 

116.2 cm 

i-enheim Museum 

in R. Guggenheim 




291 



292 



Vasily Kandinsky 
Dominant Curve 
( ourbe dominante 
April 1936 

Kandinsky regarded Dominant Curve 
as one of his most important works. 
Forces emanate from the large yel- 
low disc and are governed by the 
broadly designed curve to the right 
of center. Blocklike steps at the low- 
er right return the compositional 
I low to this large circle at the upper 
left. The rectangular tablet with 
signs in the upper left corner and the 
three black circles at the upper right 
firmly anchor the dynamic whole to 
the picture plane. The palette con- 
tains more pastel and high-keyed 
colors than in Kandinsky's earlier 
work; many small elements of con- 
trasting hues activate broad ex- 
panses of color. Kandinsky's large- 
scale painting radiates a mystical 
energy. (v.E.B.) 



Oil on 

enheim Museum 




293 



87 

Vasily Kandinsky 
( Capricious Forms 
mes capricieuses 

lulv 1937 

Though forced to leave Germany 
and the Bauhaus due to political 
pressures during World War II, 
Kandinsky did not allow the mood of 
desolation pervading war-torn Eu- 
rope to enter his paintings. The can- 
vases and works on paper he com- 
pleted during his residence in Neilly- 
sur-Seine from 1934 to 1944 are 
marked by a general lightening of 
palette and the introduction of or- 
ganic, even biological, forms. 
Capricious Forms represents the art- 
ist at perhaps his most playful mo- 
ment: interspersed with the clearly 
delineated circles and squares - the 
fundamental geometric shapes of his 
Bauhaus works - are floating and 
dancing curvilinear figures, all ren- 
dered in pastel shades. Several bio- 
logically derived forms can be inter- 
preted as stylized representations of 
embryo-shaped figures. Additional 
shapes resemble scientific illustra- 
294 tions of placental tissue, with which 
Kandinsky (who collected embryo- 
logical, zoological and botanical 
sourcebooks) was undoubtedly fami- 
liar. 1 The biological imagery may be 
read as the artist's optimistic vision 
for a not-too-distant future of re- 
birth and regeneration, (n.s.) 

1 V.E. Barnett, 'Kandinsky and Science: The 
Introduction of Biological Images in the Paris 
Period," in Kandinsky in Paris: 1934-1944, exh. 
cat. New York, 1985, pp. 61-87. 



Oil on canvas 

non R Guggenheim Museum 




295 






296 



88 

I '.a 1 1 Klee 

I [armony 

New Harmony is one ot only twenty- 
Five works Klee executed in 1936 
when he was very ill One of a series 
of paintings called "magic squares," 
it contains the two-dimensional 
colored rectangles that first appeared 
in his art in 1923. Essentially it looks 
back to Klee's color theory of the 
1920s and even the title belongs 
with those works he designated "Ar- 
chitecture, Harmony and Sound." 
While related to Ancient Sound, 
1925 (Collection Kunstmuseum 
Basel), New Harmony is based on 
brighter colors over dark underpaint- 
ing, which are firmly anchored into a 
more rigorous grid pattern and now 
arranged according to the principle 
of inverted bilateral symmetry. Like 
so many of his other pictures it 
reflects the artist's study of musical 
harmony. (v.E.B.) 



ieim Museum 




297 



89 

Kent- Magritte 
Voice of Space 
La Voix des airs 
1931 

Influenced by de Chirico, Magritte 
sought to strip objects of their usual 
functions and meanings in order to 
convey an irrationally compelling im- 
age. In Voice of Space (of which three 
other oil versions exist), the bells 
float in the air; elsewhere they oc- 
cupy human bodies or replace blos- 
soms on bushes. By distorting the 
scale, weight and use of an ordinary 
object and inserting it into a variety 
of unaccustomed contexts, Magritte 
confers on that object a fetishistic in- 
tensity. He has written of the jingle 
bell, a motif that recurs often in his 
work: "I caused the iron bells hang- 
ing from the necks of our admirable 
horses to sprout like dangerous 
plants at the edge of an abyss." ' 
The disturbing impact of the bells 
presented in an unfamiliar setting is 
intensified by the cool academic pre- 
cision with which they and their en- 
vironment are painted. The dainty 
298 slice of landscape could be the back- 
drop of an early Renaissance paint- 
ing, while the bells themselves, in 
their rotund and glowing monumen- 
tality, impart a mysterious reso- 
nance, (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in S. Gablik, Magritte, Greenwich, 
Connecticut, 1970, p. 183. 



Oil on canvas 

in 

enheim Collection 
101 




299 



300 



Joan Mim 

The Flight oi the Bird 

over the Plain III 

•l dc I'oiseau sur la plaine III 
July 1939 

Four versions of this work were 
painted during the month of July 
\i tins time Miro was staying 
in the small village of Varengeville 
on the Normandy coast, a few miles 
from Dieppe. ' Jacques Dupin re- 
lates that the idea for the painting 
came to Miro while he was on a train 
on his way to Varengeville and saw 
from the window a large flock of 
black crows winging over the plains 
of Normandy. He immediately made 
a sketch of his impression which was 
later developed into this series, (l.a.s.) 

: I Dupin, Joan Miro: Life and Work, New 
York, 1962, p. 346. 



Oil on burlap 
■ 
115 6 cm. 
■:ion R. Guggenheim Museum 




301 



91 

I'iet Mondrian 

Composition 1 A 

1930 

Around 1930 to 1933 Mondrian 
eliminated color in main ol his com- 
positions, so that the white plane of 
the canvas is crossed by a few black 
lines. These are works of utmost sim- 
plicity in which the placement and 
varying thickness of lines determines 
the painting's harmony and rhythm. 
The lozenge shape of Composition 
1 A results from rotating a square 
forty-five degrees. The earliest ex- 
ample ol the format dates from 1918, 
and the majority of these diamond- 
shaped canvases were painted in 
1925-26. The integrity of the rec- 
tilinear design survives even when su- 
perimposed on and truncated by the 
contrasting shape of the lozenge. The 
inherent unity of the square tran- 
scends the limits of the canvas and 
completes itself outside the picture 
plane. This extension into surround- 
ing space is seen to an even greater 
degree in Composition with Yellow 
Lines, 1933 (Collection Gemeen- 
302 temuseum Museum, The Hague), 
where none of the lines intersect with- 
in the canvas, (v.e.b.) 



•nge) 
cm 

■mil 
genhcim Museum 
New V 







\ 



303 



/ 



92 

Piet Mondrian 
Composition 
J9 



304 



From 1938 to 1940 Mondrian, who 
had fled wartime Paris, was estab- 
lished in London near his friends 
Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth 
and Gabo. During this period he 
continued working in the highly 
reductivist Neo-Plasticist mode he 
had developed in France, in which 
horizontal and vertical black lines in- 
tersect on the canvas in asymmetri- 
cally balanced relationships to yield 
llat white or colored quadrilaterals. 
The palette is generally restricted to 
black, white and primary colors. The 
present work is among the more 
coloristically austere examples. 
By divorcing form completely from 
its referential meaning, Mondrian 
hoped to provide a visual equivalent 
lor the truths that inhabit nature but 
are concealed in its random, flawed 
manifestations. He felt that if he 
could communicate these truths by 
means of a system of resolved oppo- 
sitions, a "real equation of the uni- 
versal and the individual," 1 the 
spiritual effect on the viewer would 
be one of total repose and animistic 
harmony. In order to effect this 
transmission the artist must subli- 
mate his personality so that it does 



not interfere with the viewer's per- 
ception of the rhythmic equilibrium 
of line, dimension and cplor. These 
elements, however, are organized 
not according to the impersonal dic- 
tates of mathematics but rather to 
the intuition of the artist. Likewise, 
although the artist's gesture is mini- 
mized and the reference to personal 
experience erased, his presence can 
be detected in the stroke of the paint- 
brush and the unevenness of the edge 
of the transcendent line. The individ- 
ual consciousness exists in a dialecti- 
cal relationship with "the absolute," 
which is realized pictorially through, 
in Mondrian's words, the "mutual in- 
teraction of constructive elements 
and their inherent relations." 2 Just 
as the forms and space of the canvas 
are abstracted from life, so the 
spiritual plane is removed from, 
though related to, the work of art. 
Mondrian sought to unite art, matter 
and spirit to discover in all aspects of 
experience the universal harmony 
posited in Neo-Plasticism. (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in Theories of Modem Art, ed. H.B. 
Chipp, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1968, p. 
350. 

2 Ibid., p. 351. 



Oil on > 

mounted on wood supp 

I cm. 
. (.nheim Collection 



305 



r- 



— 



93 

Pablo Picasso 

Pitcher and Bowl ol Iruit 

Picket et coupe dc I nuts 

1 ebruary 1931 

When Picasso met Marie-Therese 
Walter on January 1 1, 1927, in front 
oi the Gaieties Lafayette in Paris, 
she was only seventeen years old. As 
Picasso was married at the time and 
Marie-Therese was underage, they 
were compelled to conceal their love 
.it lair for many years. While their 
liaison was hidden from public view, 
ii is documented, albeit covertly, in 
Picasso's art. Five still lifes painted 
during 1927 - incorporating the ini- 
tials "MT" and "MTP" as part of 
their compositions - cryptically an- 
nounce the joyous entry of Marie- 
Therese into the artist's life. By 
1931 a stylistic shift had occurred in 
Picasso's art reflecting the sensual 
presence of his mistress. A period of 
angular, tortured images - culminat- 
ing in The Dance of 1925 (Collection 
Tate Gallery, London) - gave way to 
a profusion of curvilinear, organic 
forms and veiled references to 
306 Marie-Therese's fecund body. Such 
anatomical allusions may be found in 
the large decorative still life, Pitcher 
and Bowl of Fruit. What initially ap- 
pears to be a Cubist arrangement of 
still-life elements on a draped table 
outlined in black becomes, after 
close scrutiny, a reclining nude. The 
bowl of fruit on the right is trans- 
formed into a stylized face, the com- 
plexly structured table a body, and 
the lone piece of fruit a perfectly 
round breast. In March of the same 
year, Picasso painted Still Life on a 
Pedestal Table (Collection Musee 
Picasso, Paris), in which the cor- 
poreal allusions are far more explicit. 

(N.S.I 



Oil on 

.xnheim Museum 




307 



94 

Pablo Picasso 

i )n the Beach 

Baigpade 
Fcbruarj 12, 1937 

During the early months of 1937 
Picasso was responding powerfully 
to the Spanish Civil War with the 
preparatory drawings for Guernica 
(Collection Museo National del Pra- 
do, Madrid) and with etchings such 
as The Dream and Lie of Franco, an 
example of which is in the Peggy 
Guggenheim Collection. However, 
in this period he also executed a 
group of works that do not betray 
this preoccupation with political 
events. The subject of On the Beach, 
also known as Girls with a Toy Boat, 
specifically recalls Picasso's Three 
Bathers of 1920 (Collection Stephen 
Hahn, New York). Painted at Le 
Trcmblay-sur-Mauldrc near Ver- 
sailles, On the Beach is one of several 
paintings in which he returns to the 
ossified, volumetric forms in beach 
environments that appeared in his 
works of the late 1920s and early 
1930s. On the Beach can be com- 
308 pared with Matisse's Le Luxe, II, ca. 
1907-08 (Collection Statens Muse- 
um for Kunst, Copenhagen), in its 
simplified, planar style and in the 
poses of the foreground figures. It is 
plausible that the arcadian themes of 
his friendly rival Matisse would ap- 
peal to Picasso as an alternative to 
the violent images of war he was con- 
ceiving at the time. 
At least two preparatory drawings 
have been identified for this work. 
In one (Collection Musee Picasso, 
Paris), 1 the male figure looming on 
the horizon has a sinister appear- 
ance. In the other drawing (present 
whereabouts unknown), 2 as in the 
finished version, his mien is softened 
and neutralized to correspond with 
the features of the two female figures. 
The sense of impotent voyeurism 
conveyed as he gazes at the fertile, ex- 
aggeratedly sexual "girls" calls to 
mind the myth of Diana caught una- 
wares at her bath. (] 

1 Repr. Rudenstine, 1985, p. 625. 

>>s, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1957, 
vol 8, no. 343. 



Peggy Guggenheim Colk 




309 



95 

Yves Tanguy 

Promontory Palace 

Palais promontoire 

1931 



310 



Following his trip to Africa in 19 30, 
Tanguy produced a group of land- 
scapes that have been termed "les 
coulees" (or flowing forms) for their 
molten character. Other paintings in 
this sequence include Neither Legends 
nor ligures, ca. 1930 (Private Collec- 
tion, United States), and The Ar- 
moire of Proteus, 1931 (Private Col- 
lection, Paris). 1 Perhaps the most 
striking of the series is Promontory 
Palace, in which a rigid multitiered 
mass dominates a broad, flat plain. 
This corrugated mesa and other 
buttes in the center foreground 
stand firm as the surrounding vis- 
cous landscape succumbs to some 
persistent melting force. The small 
abstract shapes that inhabit the 
scene are in various stages of 
metamorphosis: some appear to melt 
or ooze, others seem to collapse or 
deflate and still others secrete or 
sputter white liquids or gases. Some 
of these shapes are disturbingly an- 
thropomorphic. A line of globular 
forms marches down the incline of 
the promontory to the edge of a cliff, 
where two forms have already sur- 
rendered and begun to melt over the 
precipice to join the sea of flowing 
matter below. A five-fingered, bulb- 
ous white mass glides over the 
ground as if on water. Elsewhere 
steam emerges, both from the pipe- 
shaped form at the base of the 



promontory, and from the dis'- 
tant horizon. On the highest peak, or 
the palace, mysterious sparks ema- 
nate from a thornlike tower. To the 
right a hairlike apparition disappears 
into the thin atmosphere of an 
empty sky. 

In the natural world such geologic 
metamorphosis would require in- 
tense heat and volcanic activity. Yet 
Tanguy's restrained grays and muted 
pinks, accented with cool blue and 
pale green and yellow, deny the 
presence of fire and earth. Instead, 
Tanguy creates a Surrealist terrain 
where molten and frozen, figurative 
and abstract, literal and suggestive 
elements exist in perfect harmony. 
Tanguy's use of a specific horizon 
line, his naturalistic modeling of 
forms and his depiction of landscape 
evocative of an actual coastline, per- 
mit us a conceptual foothold in 
known experience. Yet our foothold 
gives way as Tanguy's abstract 
shapes transform known experience 
into a familiar but irrational fantasy. 
The power of Tanguy's imagery de- 
rives from the delicate tension he 
creates between the logic of sensa- 
tion and the freedom of imagination. 
(e.c.c.) 



1 For further discussion of this sequence, see 
Yves Tanguy: Retrospective (1925-1955), exh. 
cat., Paris, 1982, pp. 50-52, 103-105. 



Oil on canvas 
28 74 x23 V- 

CiugKcnheim Coll. 




311 



96 

Georges Vantongerloo 
Composition Derived from the 
Equation y = — ax 2 + bx + 18 
with Green, Orange, Violet (Black) 
Composition emanante de I' equation 
y = - ax 2 + bx + 18 avec accord 
ert... orange... violet (ttoir).. 
L930 



312 



As a founding member of the De Stijl 
group, Vantongerloo shared the Uto- 
pian aesthetic vision pronounced by 
Mondrian, van Doesberg and van 
der Leek in their numerous publica- 
tions on Neo-PIasticism in art and 
architecture. Though born and 
trained in Belgium, Vantongerloo 
adopted what may be described as a 
peculiarly Dutch approach to artistic 
conception, defined by its emphasis 
on purity and rationality. Correla- 
tions have been drawn between the 
reductivist work of artists associated 
with De Stijl and the methodology of 
the Dutch philosopher Baruch 
Spinoza, who employed a geometric 
system to demonstrate his thoughts 
in order to eliminate any possibility 
of arbitrary representation. 1 Van- 
tongerloo was clearly influenced by 
the writings of another Dutch 
philosopher, M.H.J. Schoenmaeker, 
whose theosophically inspired work 
also had a profound effect upon 
Mondrian's theories of abstraction. 
This is evidenced by Vantongerloo's 
conflation of mathematical formulas 
and color theories with spiritualism 



in his doctrine of plastic art. He be- 
lieved that the goal of art was to 
achieve an essential, harmonic unity 
of constituent parts that would 
evoke a spiritual dimension. "Art 
is... a science and not a fantasy." 2 
Mathematics, he claimed, is the 
means with which to demonstrate 
the desired aesthetic and spiritual 
unity since it expresses "the infinite- 
ly small and the infinitely large." 3 
The composition of the present 
painting is based on a quadratic 
equation related to the geometric 
theory of conic sections. 4 Vanton- 
gerloo's concentration on this formu- 
la in 1930 led him to create a sculp- 
ture and a number of paintings based 
on the same mathematical propor- 
tions, (n.s.). 



1 H.L.C. Jaffe, "Introduction," in De Stijl: 
1911-19)1. Vision of Utopia, exh. cat., New 
York, 1982, p. 13. 

2 Georges Vantongerloo, L'Art et son avenir, 
Antwerp, 1924, p. 17. 

> Ibid., p. 49. 

4 V.E. Barnett, Handbook, The Guggenheim 
Museum Collection, 1900-1980, New York, 
1984, p. 252. 



Oil on 

47 x 26 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 
New V 





313 






97 

Constant in Brancusi 

riving Turtle 

Tortue volante 

1940-45 

One ol the sculptor's last works, the 
highly abstracted Flying Turtle is a 
unified yet complex form carved 
from a single block of veined white 
marble. The body comprises a rough- 
Iv hemispherical mass with a wedge- 
shaped section removed. The point- 
ed extremities, slightly asymmetri- 
cal, suggest two outstretched front 
legs, and between them the long 
tapering neck strains forward from 
the shell. The streamlined whole, at 
a dynamic angle on its low pedestal, 
looks poised for takeoff, or as if it 
were already skimming over ocean 
waves. Brancusi seems to have origi- 
nally intended to exhibit the sculp- 
ture with the rounded dome of the 
shell on top and the neck projecting 
downwards, the reverse of its 
present orientation. By the simple 
act of turning the figure upside 
down, Brancusi transformed an 
earth-hugging, tortoiselike form into 
314 an aerodynamic, volant one. (j.r.w.) 



Marble 

> cm. 

I 

">5 H-51 



1940-1949 




315 






98 

Alexander Calder 

Mobile 

1941 

During the early 1930s Calder, a pi- 
oneering Qgure in the development 
of kinetic art, created sculptures in 
which balanced components move, 
some driven by motor, and others 
impelled by the action of air cur- 
rents. Duchamp first applied the 
descriptive designation "mobiles" to 
those reliant on air alone. Either sus- 
pended or freestanding, these con- 
structions generally consist of flat 
pieces of painted metal connected by 
wire veins and stems. Their bio- 
morphic shapes recall the organic 
motifs of the Surrealist painting and 
sculpture of his friends Miro and 
Arp. Calder, a fastidious craftsman, 
cut, bent, punctured and twisted his 
materials entirely by hand, the 
manual emphasis contributing to the 
sculpture's evocation of natural 
form. Shape, size, color, space and 
movement combine and recombine 
in shifting, balanced relationships 
that provide a visual equivalent to 
^j^ the harmonious but unpredictable 
activity of nature. 

The present mobile is organized as 
an antigravitational cascade in which 
large, heavy, mature shapes sway se- 
renely at the top, while small, un- 
differentiated, agitated new growth 
dips and rocks below. Calder left one 
of the upper leaves as well as the 
lowest group unpainted, revealing 
the aluminum surface and underscor- 
ing the sense of variety he consid- 
ered vital to the success of a work 
of art. As he wrote, "Disparity in 
form, color, size, weight, motion, is 
what makes a composition... It is the 
apparent accident to regularity 
which the artist actually controls by 
which he makes or mars a work." 1 
(L.F.) 

1 Quoted in J. Lipman, Calder's Universe, exh. 
cat., New York, 1976, p. 33. 



1 -mil unpainted aluminum 
• in. 
214 cm hijjh 

• in I ollection 




317 






99 

Alexander Calder 
Standing Mobile 
1942 

Calder once claimed that he looked 
to the cosmos for his aesthetic inspi- 
ration: "From the beginnings of my 
abstract work, even when it might 
not have seemed so, I felt that there 
was no better model for me to 
choose than the Universe... Spheres 
of different sizes, densities, colors 
and volumes, floating in space, 
traversing clouds... currents of air, 
viscosities and odors - of the 
greatest variety and disparity." 1 
One of Calder's earliest mechanized 
sculptures, for instance, is titled A 
Universe, 1934 (Collection The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York) 
and several wall-mounted wood and 
wire constructions from 1943 are 
known as constellations. 
Though abstract, Calder's hanging 
and standing mobiles retain galactic 
references: the myriad dancing and 
spinning disks allude to the seeming 
weightlessness of faraway stars and 
shooting comets. And when not sug- 
318 gestive of solar systems, these sculp- 
tures evoke the most intangible 
aspects of nature: the rustling of a 
breeze, cascading water, the gentle 
movements of swimming fish. Stand- 
ing Mobile also has anthropomorphic 
qualities; its upright base is reminis- 
cent of a human figure balancing or 
even juggling tiny disks. There is a 
whimsical quality to this sculpture 
that relates it in spirit to Calder's 
earlier wire circus figures. 
The inscription on the base, "to Karl 
from Sandy," indicates that Calder 
presented the mobile to the German 
art dealer, Karl Nierendorf as a gift. 
When the Guggenheim Museum ac- 
quired Nierendorf's estate in 1948, 
Hilla Rebay kept this sculpture as 
well as another Standing Mobile, late 
1930s or early 1940s (cat. no. 78) for 
her private collection, (n.s.) 

1 Quoted in J. Lipman, Calder's Universe, exh. 
cat.. New York, 1977, p. 18. 



metal 

• ll'/2x lO 1 /; in. 
52.1 x 29.2x26.7 cm. 

iheim Museum 

The Hilla Rebay Collection 




319 



320 



100 

Alexiiiuli-i ( alder 

Constellation 

1943 

Constellations are a special variety of 
stabiles dating from the time of 
World War II and constructed from 
puces of wood and thin metal rods. 
The stabiles originated in the early 
19 30s (the same period as the mo- 
biles) and were named by Arp. It is 
no coincidence that Arp had created 
constellations in the 1930s (cat. no. 
73), as had Miro, another of Calder's 
friends, around 1940-41. 
Some of Calder's constellations were 
meant for horizontal placement, 
while others (such as the Guggen- 
heim example) were designed as wall 
pieces. The wooden elements con- 
trast in color, shape and texture with 
the spiky black rods: their configura- 
tion fixes precise points in space. 
(v.e.b.). 



Wood and metal rods 

I ,/2 in. 

Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

llection 

!icr brother 




321 



101 

Alexander ( lalder 

Mobile 

ca. 1943-46 

< alder's lirst mobiles date from the 
early 1930s, when he lived in Paris. 
His friend Duchamp arrived at the 
term to describe the diverse types of 
(alder's moving sculptures, of which 
the hanging mobile is most familiar. 
In [his example simple wooden 
shapes - most of them painted - are 
suspended from wooden dowels. 
Responding to air currents, the mo- 
bile's ever-shifting profile moves 
spontaneously and unpredictably, 
different elements traveling in 
different directions at varying rates 
of speed. 

In Calder. An Autobiography with 
Pictures, the artist related that "there 
were two mobiles of the epoch of the 
constellations - the war period - 
made of bits of hardwood, carved, 
painted, and hanging on strings at 
the end of dowel sticks. Carre had 
previously deleted these from what 
he wanted to show, so I gave them to 
Mary Reynolds, who was back in 
322 Paris. And she always refers to them, 
ever since, as the 'Pas Nobles Mo- 
biles' (the undignified mobiles). 
These now belong to the Guggen- 
heim museum." 1 (v.e.b.) 

1 A. Calder and J. Davidson, Calder: An Au- 
tobiography with Pictures, New York, 1966, p. 
189. 



Wood, metal and cord 

' in. 

l cm. 

on R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 




323 



324 



102 

Kan Dubuffet 
Miss Cholera 
January 1946 

Dubuffet's rejection of all traditional 
academic and aesthetic values led 
him, by 1945, to create paintings 
evocative of dilapidated, graffiti- 
covered walls. Inspired by the crude, 
eroded quality of these surfaces, he 
invented a highly tactile medium 
composed of thick oil paint, plaster, 
tar and sand to which he added peb- 
bles, bits of broken glass, string and 
other materials. Dubuffet carved 
and incised into this heavy impasto, 
which he called hautes pates, creating 
schematic images of fictitious 
characters, actual portraits, land- 
scapes and cityscapes. "Take a good 
look," directed Dubuffet, "at how 
small children find a thousand mar- 
vels in the gutters and in debris." 1 
Dubuffet's emphasis on materials 
and process led to a diminution of 
color in the work; he reduced his 
once brilliant palette to a fairly 
monochromatic combination of 
earth tones and black. "The colors," 
he wrote, "that I find in a pebble, in 
an old wall, I find more pleasurable 
than those found in ribbons and 
flowers." 2 Miss Cholera was featured 
in the artist's third one-man show, 
Mirobolus, Macadam et Cie: Hautes 
Pates de Jean Dubuffet, held at the 
Galerie Rene Drouin, Paris, in 1946. 



In the description of the work in the 
exhibition catalogue, the porous, 
matte substance of the painting and 
its overall plum tonality are com- 
pared to natural sandstone. Traces of 
colored dyes, characterized as "lip- 
stick red" and "linen blue," are 
found throughout the picture. "The 
gloomy brown and dirty black back- 
ground [suggests] the residual 
deposits that in the course of time 
carpet the insides of fireplaces and 
chimneys." 5 

Dubuffet's aggressive Will to Power 
(Volonte de puissance) (Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum) was also in- 
cluded in the Hautes Pates exhibition. 
As both paintings were executed in 
January of that year, it is tempting to 
view them as a possible pair. Where 
Dubuffet has personified masculine 
domination in Will to Power, he 
parodies femininity in Miss Cholera 
with her high-heeled shoes, short 
skirt and extravagant rouge, (n.s.) 



1 Quoted in M. Loreau, ed., Catalogue des 
travaux de Jean Dubuffet: Fascicule II - Mirobo- 
lus, Macadam et Cie, Paris, 1966, p. 13. 

2 Ibid., p. 11. 

J M. Tapie, Mirobolus Macadam & Cie, Hautes 
Pates de Jean Dubuffet, exh. cat., Paris, 1946, 
p. 42. 



Oil. sand, pebbles and straw on canvas 
',8 in 
■ 45.7 cm. 

< iujyjenheim Museum 
• ..rk 

- Kuh 
72.2007 




325 



L03 

\l.i\ Ernsl 

Tin.- Antipope 

December 1 *■>-! 1 -March 1942 



326 



Ernst settled in New York in 1941 
after escaping from Europe with the 
help of Peggy Guggenheim. The 
same year he executed a small oil on 
cardboard (now in the Peggy Gug- 
genheim Collection) that became the 
basis for the large-scale The Anti- 
pope. When Peggy Guggenheim saw 
the small version, she interpreted a 
dainty horse-human figure on the 
right as Ernst, who was being fon- 
dled by a woman she identified as 
herself. She wrote that Ernst con- 
ceded that a third figure, depicted in 
a three-quarter rear view, was her 
daughter Pegeen; she did not at- 
tempt to identify another horse- 
headed female to the left. 1 When 
Ernst undertook the large version 
from December to March he 
changed the body of the "Peggy" 
figure into a greenish column and 
transferred her amorous gesture to a 
new character, who wears a pink 
tunic and is depicted in a relatively 
naturalistic way. The "Pegeen" figure 
in the center appears to have two 
faces, one of a flayed horse that 
looks at the horse-woman at the left. 
The other, with only its cheek and 
jaw visible, gazes in the opposite 
direction, out over the grim lagoon, 
like a pensive subject conceived by 
Caspar David Friedrich. 
The great upheavals in Ernst's per- 
sonal life during this period en- 
courage such a biographical interpre- 



tation. Despite his marriage to Peggy 
Guggenheim, he was deeply in- 
volved with Leonora Carrington at 
this time, and spent hours riding 
horses with her. As birds were an ob- 
session for Ernst, so horses were for 
Carrington. Her identification with 
them is suggested throughout her 
collection of stories La Dame Ovale, 
published in 1939 with seven illus- 
trations by Ernst, two of which in- 
clude metamorphosed horse crea- 
tures. 

It seems plausible that the alienated 
horse-woman of The Antipope, who 
twists furtively to watch the other 
horse-figure, represents a vision of 
Peggy Guggenheim. 2 Like the tri- 
umphal bride in Attirement of the 
Bride, also in the Peggy Guggenheim 
Collection, she wears an owl head- 
gear. Her irreconcilable separation 
from her companion is expressed 
graphically by the device of the di- 
agonally positioned spear that bi- 
sects the canvas. The features of the 
green totemic figure resemble those 
of Carrington, whose relationship 
with Ernst was to end soon after the 
painting was completed, when she 
moved to Mexico with her husband. 
(l.f.) 



1 See P. Guggenheim, Out of This Century: 
Confessions of an Art Addict, New York, 1979, 
pp. 261-262. 

2 Rudenstine, 1985, pp. 315-517. 







327 



104 

Max Ernst 

An Anxious Friend 

(/;/ Ami empresse 

Summer 1944 

During the summer of 1944, when 
he lived in Great River, Long Island, 
Max Ernst turned his attention to 
sculpture, a medium in which he had 
not worked for a decade. He was in- 
fluenced by the Surrealist sculpture 
familiar to him in Europe in the 
19 30s - most notably, the work of 
his friend Giacometti. Like Gia- 
cometti's Spoon Woman (cat. no. 
62), Ernst's An Anxious Friend ex- 
hibits the artist's knowledge of 
primitive art, possesses an emphatic 
frontality and is amusingly endowed 
with female attributes. Ernst em- 
ployed found objects in making the 
plaster: he decorated the front with 
drill bits and fashioned the figure's 
round mouth and eyes from a set of 
aluminium measuring spoons. 1 
Although he worked episodically in 
this medium, Ernst's sculpture is not 
central to his oeuvre. Consistent 
with his paintings and drawings, An 
328 Anxious Friend commands an insist- 
ent presence and provokes the imagi- 
nation, (v.e.b.) 



1 Correspondence with Julien Levy, January 
1979. 



Bronze 
26 '/« in. 
67 cm. high 

on R. Guggenheim Museum 
New York 

nque and John dc Mcnil 
VJ 1521 




329 




330 



105 

Alberto ( riacometti 

Nose 

/.<• Nez 

About 1947 Giacometti ceased mak- 
ulptures, and his tall, 
thin, skeletal figures began to ap- 
peal In Nose and Hand, both done 
in l l >47, the anisi enlarged a detail 
to such a degree that it would be im- 
possible for him to realize the whole 
As in Hand and Man Pointing 
of the same year, he has elongated 
for expressive effect and in ac- 
cordance with his perception of the 
subject. Through the introduction of 
a steel cage in our sculpture, Gia- 
cometti has located the head within 
spatial confines, although the nose 
protrudes beyond them. The investi- 
gation of space preoccupies the art- 
ist here as it had in the early 1940s, 
when he made extremely small 
figures on large bases, and as it 
would during the next years in group 
compositions like City Square and 
The Cage, (v.e.b.) 



re, rope and steel 
figure 15 1 /"" J '/•» « 26 >/< x in. 

- -4 cm. 

■ 15 '/* in. 

- 1 cm 
uggenheim Museum 

Vnrk 




331 



106 

Alberto Giacometti 
Standing Woman ("Lconi") 
Femme debout ("Leoni") 
1947 (cast November 1957) 

An early example of the mature style 
with which Giacometti is usually 
identified, this figure is more elon- 
gated and dematerialized than the 
Woman Walking (cat. no. 84), 
though it retains that sculpture's 
frontality and immobility. A sense of 
ghostly fragility detaches the figure 
from the world around it, despite the 
crusty materiality of the surfaces, as 
animated and responsive to light as 
those of Rodin. 

Giacometti exploited the contradic- 
tions of perception in the haunting, 
incorporeal sculptures of this period. 
1 lis matchstick-sized figures of 1942 
to 1946 demonstrate the effect of 
distance on size and comment on the 
notion that the essence of an in- 
dividual persists even as the body ap- 
pears to vanish, that is, to become 
nonexistent. Even his large-scale 
standing women and striding men 
seem miniaturized and insubstantial. 
332 I n 1947 the sculptor commented 
that "... lifesize figures irritate me, 
after all, because a person passing by 
on the street has no weight; in any 
case he's much lighter than the same 
person when he's dead or has faint- 
ed. He keeps his balance with his 
legs. You don't feel your weight. I 
wanted - without having thought 
about it - to reproduce this light- 
ness, and that by making the body so 
thin." ' Giacometti sought to convey 
several notions simultaneously in his 
attenuated plastic forms: one's con- 
sciousness of the nonmaterial pre- 
sence of another person, the ^sub- 
stantiality of the physical body hous- 
ing that presence, and the paradoxi- 
cal nature of perception. The base 
from which the woman appears to 
grow like a tree is tilted, emphasizing 
the verticality of the figure as well as 
reiterating the contours of the 
merged feet. 

Giacometti had the present cast 
made expressly for Peggy Guggen- 
heim. (l.f.) 

1 Quoted in R. Hohl, Alberto Giacometti, New 
York, 1971, p. 278. 



Bronze 
M)'/4 in 
153 cru 

Guggenheim Collection 
Venice 
762553 PG 131 



333 



Vasilv Kandinsk) 
Various Actions 
Actions varices 

August-September 1941 

Though Kandinsky was highl) 
regarded by the Surrealist artists 
working in Paris, he never consid- 
ered himself a member of their cir- 
cle Distinguishing between his own 
concept of inner necessity as the 
realm from which to derive the inspi- 
ration for his art, and the Surrealists' 
emphasis on the unconscious, Kan- 
disky found their work too literary 
and too libidinally oriented. Nev- 
ertheless, two Surrealists whom 
Kandinsky befriended, Miro and 
Arp, had an important influence on 
his painting. The biomorphic forms 
in both artists' work corresponded to 
Kandinsky's own interest in the or- 
ganic sciences. The festive quality of 
Miro's images also had an impact on 
Kandinsky's late period. Various Ac- 
tions recalls Miro's Carnival of Harle- 
quin, 1924-25 (Collection Albright 
Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New 
York I, with its playful forms sus- 
334 pended against a luminous blue 
backdrop. Both paintings feature 
schematic ladders, floating spheres 
and biomorphic creatures dispersed 
equallv across the picture plane. 
(N.S.) 



■ 'Ujyjcnhcim 




335 



336 



11)8 

Vasily Kandinsky 

Twilight 

Cripuscule 

L943 

Pictorial strategies from various 
stages in Kandinsky's long career are 
combined in this late painting. The 
black background, a signature motif 
from his early Russian-folktale im- 
ages, reappears here as it does in a 
number of the Paris-period works. 
Kandinsky's use of an interior fram- 
ing device dating from his return to 
Russia in 1914 is recalled by the pic- 
ture's two clearly delineated tonal 
planes. The biomorphic shapes, spe- 
cifically associated with the Paris 
years, are present as well. Given the 
late date of this painting, one is led 
to speculate on the possible poetic 
interpretations of the title. Kan- 
dinsky, however, also titled a tem- 
pera from 1901 and a poem from 
1925 Twilight, (n.s.) 



Oil on board 

> R Guggenheim Museum 




337 



538 



mdinsky 
Red 

June 

Kandinsky's late painting is distin- 
guished bj a reduction in size, sub- 
duct! close-ranged hues and an in- 
vent i\c precision in the forms. He 
has attained a synthesis oi the geo- 
metric abstraction ol his Bauhaus 
period and the spiritually inspired bi- 
omorphic abstraction of his earlier 
work. In Red Accent shapes conjure 
up creatures from animal and vegeta- 
ble kingdoms. However, the images 
remain autonomous, a language of 
private symbols. In this composition 
the canvas is divided vertically into 
three distinct bands. Left and right 
are contrasted, forms are repeated 
and their trajectories cut across the 
surface. The "red accent," which 
resembles a painting, is found at the 
upper left. (v.E.B.) 








339 



340 



111) 

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 

Dual Form with Chromium Rods 

1946 

As early as 1935 Moholy-Nagy creat- 
ed three-dimensional paintings with 
transparent plastics. These "light 
modulators" evolved into three- 
dimensional sculpture about 1941. 
In Dual Form with Chromium Rods, 
which dates from the last year of his 
life, Moholy has drawn bent chrome 
rods through the perforations in a 
central core of plexiglass. The fish- 
like shape of the plexiglass elements 
occurs frequently in his sculpture of 
the 1940s. With the free-form lines 
of chrome on each side of the plexi- 
glass, the artist achieves an equi- 
librium. He has emphasized the 
light-reflective properties of materi- 
als as well as their capacity to cast 
ambiguous patterns of shadow. 
This free-standing piece has been ex- 
hibited in both horizontal and verti- 
cal positions, (v.e.b.) 



Plexiglass and chrome-plated steel rods 
' in 
cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 




341 



342 



111 

Antoine Pevsner 
Twinned Column 
Colonne jumeUe 

his brother Gabo, Pevsner ex- 
perimented with the possibilities of 
new materials and techniques in his 
sculpture In addition to working in 
plastics, he created many construc- 
tions from bronze, brass and tin. 
Frequently he incorporated more 
than one substance in a single sculp- 
ture to provide color, surface texture 
and patterning oi light and shadow. 
In Twinned Column bronze rods are 
joined together to form linear config- 
urations reminiscent of the nylon 
filaments Gabo used. Both Twinned 
Column and Developable Column of 
Victory from the previous year are 
free-standing sculptures with strong 
central axes and silhouettes which 
change when seen from different 
points of view. The bold symmetry 
of the compositions and the contrast 
between solid and void are charac- 
teristic of Pevsner's work, (v.e.b.) 



< 14x14 in 
16 cm. 

m R. Guggenheim 




343 



112 

fackson Pollock 

The Moon Woman 

1942 

Like other members of the New 
York School, Pollock was influenced 
in his early work by Miro and Picas- 
so, and seized on the Surrealists' 
concept of the unconscious as the 
source of art. In the late 1930s Pol- 
lock introduced imagery based on to- 
temic or mythic figures, ideographic 
signs and ritualistic events that have 
been interpreted as pertaining to the 
buried experiences and cultural 
memories of the psyche. 
The Moon Woman suggests the ex- 
ample of Picasso, particularly his 
Girl Before a Mirror of 1932 (Collec- 
tion The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York). The palettes are similar, 
and both artists describe a solitary 
standing female as if she had been X- 
rayed, her backbone a broad black 
line from which her curving contours 
originate. Frontal and profile views 
of the face are combined to contrast 
two aspects of the self, one serene 
and public, the other dark and in- 
344 terior. 

The subject of the moon woman, 
which Pollock treated in several 
drawings and paintings of the early 
1940s, could have been available to 
him from various sources. At this 
time many artists, among them Pol- 
lock's friends William Baziotes and 
Robert Motherwell, were influenced 
by the fugitive, hallucinatory im- 
agery of Charles Baudelaire and the 
French Symbolists. In his prose 
poem "Favors of the Moon" 
Baudelaire addresses the "image of 
the fearful goddess, the fateful god- 
mother, the poisonous nurse of all 
the moonstruck of the world." The 
poem, which is known to have in- 
spired Baziotes's Mirror at Midnight, 
completed in 1942 (Collection Rudi 
Blesh, New York), alludes to "omi- 
nous flowers that are like the censers 
of an unknown rite," a phrase uncan- 
nily applicable to Pollock's bouquet 
at the upper right. Though it is possi- 
ble that Pollock knew the poem, it is 
likelier that he was affected in a 
more general way by the interest in 
Baudelaire and the Symbolists that 
was pervasive during the period. 
(L.F.) 



Oil on canvas 
43 '/W in. 
175.2 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection 

. HI 




345 



113 

fackson Pollock 

Two 

19-4 3-45 



346 



As in The Moon Woman (cat. no. 
112), Pollock depicts in Two a figu- 
rative subject in emblematic, ab- 
stract terms. Rapidly applied strokes 
of thick black paint harshly delimit 
the two totemic figures. A columnar 
Figure on the left, probably male, 
faces the center. Black contours only 
partially delineate the white and 
flesh colored areas that signify his 
body, as Pollock separates and liber- 
ates line from a descriptive function. 
The Figure on the right, possibly fe- 
male, bends and thrusts in approach- 
ing the static figure on the left - a 
sexual union between the two is im- 
plied at the juncture of their bodies 
in the center of the canvas. 
Careful examination of the paint sur- 
face reveals that the gray "ground" is 
actually extensive overpainting 
which covers and redefines broad 
areas of flesh color, white and a 
lighter gray. Many of the harshest 
contours, such as the inner sides of 
the figures' upper torsos, are defined 
by this intrusive field of gray. Broad 
black strokes were applied on top of 
the overpainted ground in several 
areas: Pollock's imagery emerges 
with the painting process. A state- 
ment made by Pollock in 1947 about 
his mature art holds true for this 
earlier work as well: "The source of 
my painting is the unconscious. I ap- 



proach painting the same way I ap- 
proach drawing. That is direct - with 
no preliminary studies." I 
At about the same time he executed 
the present work, Pollock painted 
another encounter between two to- 
temic beings, Male and Female (Col- 
lection Mrs. H. Gates Lloyd, Haver- 
ford, Pennsylvania). Ciphers and 
mathematical signs appear in both 
canvases. In Two several numerals, 
including 2, 3 and 6 (and possibly 
others between 1 and 8), may be dis- 
cerned at the far right. In both 
works numerals serve at once as calli- 
graphic marks and as signs: they 
reinforce the generally symbolic 
character of the painting without be- 
ing invoked as specific references. 
Also, in both paintings two figures 
are brought together in agitated un- 
ion, perhaps signifying the primacy 
of the male and the female in the 
genesis of human life. To be in- 
trigued by such basic concepts, Pol- 
lock need not have relied, as is some- 
times suggested, on Jungian psychol- 
ogy or American Indian mythology. 
Rather, he was interested in such 
phenomena because he sought to ex- 
plore universal principles through his 
work, (e.c.c.) 



1 Quoted in F.V. O'Connor, Jackson Pollock, 
exh. cat., New York, 1967, p. 40. 



Oil on canvas 
'/< in. 

1 ilicction 

• Hi 




347 



114 

Jackson Pollock 
( lKiimcision 
January L946 

In this transitional work of 1946 the 
subtle persistence of the Cubist grid 
system is felt in the panels that or- 
ganize the composition and orient 
major pictorial details in vertical or 
horizontal positions. However, Pol- 
lock's dependence on Picasso has vir- 
tually dissolved, giving way to a 
more automatic, fluidly expressive 
style. Line loses its descriptive func- 
tion and begins to assume a self- 
sufficient role, the rhythm, duration 
and direction of each brushstroke 
responding to the artist's instinctual 
gesture. The compositional focus is 
multiplied and decentralized and 
areas of intense activity fill the en- 
tire surface. Fragmented figural ele- 
ments are increasingly integrated 
into the shallow pictorial space, as 
background, foreground and object 
merge and the texture of the paint 
gains in importance. By 1945 the 
vigor and originality of Pollock's 
work had prompted the critic Cle- 
34g ment Greenberg, one of his earliest 
champions, to write in The Nation of 
April 7: "Jackson Pollock's second 
one-man show at Art of This Centu- 
ry... establishes him, in my opinon, 
as the strongest painter of his gener- 
ation and perhaps the greatest one to 
appear since Miro." 
Primitive art-forms are alluded to in 
the crudely drawn arrows, cult and 
stick figures and ornamental mark- 
ings discernable in Circumcision. To- 
temic figures (the rotund being 
standing at the left and the owllike 
creature at upper center) are posed 
stiffly, observing what seems to be a 
scene of violence in the center of the 
canvas. The enactment of a rite of 
passage is suggested, but the visual 
evidence does not encourage a 
specific reading. Pollock's concern 
with archetypal imagery and pancul- 
tural rituals and mythologies is 
evoked with varying degrees of 
specificity in his work. 
Lee Krasner suggested the title to 
Pollock after the painting was com- 
pleted. ' I ! 

1 Sec Rudenstinc, 1985, pp. 634-635. 



canvas 



« in. 

nhcim Collection 







349 



I L5 

fackson Pollock 

Enchanted Forest 

1^-47 

I ike Alchemy (Peggy Guggenheim 
Collection, Venice), Enchanted Fo 
rest exemplifies Pollock's mature ab- 
stract compositions created by the 

pouring, dripping and splattering of 
paint on large, unstretched canvases. 
In Enchanted Forest Pollock opens up 
the more dense construction of 
layered color found in works such as 
Alchemy, by allowing large areas of 
white to breathe amidst the network 
oi moving, expanding line, lie also 
i educes his palette to a restrained 
selection of gold, black, red and 
white. Pollock creates a delicate 
balance of form and color through 
orchestrating syncopated rhythms of 
lines that surge, swell, retreat and 
pause only briefly before plunging 
anew into continuous, lyrical mo- 
tion. One's eye follows eagerly, pur- 
suing first one dripping rope of color 
and then another, without being ar- 
rested by any dominant focus. 
Rather than describing a form, Pol- 
350 lock's line thus becomes continuous 
form itself. 

Michael Fried has described Pol- 
lock's achievement: "[his] all-over 
line does not give rise to positive and 
negative areas .... There is no inside 
or outside to Pollock's line or to the 
space through which it moves. And 
this is tantamount to claiming that 
line, in Pollock's all-over drip paint- 
ings ol 1947-50, has been freed at 
last from the job of describing con- 
tours and bounding shapes." 1 It is 
this redefinition of the traditional 
capacity of the artist's formal means 
that distinguishes Pollock's art in the 
history of modernism, (e.c.c.) 

M I v American Painten. exh. cat., 

bridge, Massachusetts, 1965, p 14 



enheim Coll' 
■ 151 




351 



352 



116 

Victor Brauner 
Spread of Thought 
/. 'Etendue de la pensee 
July 1956 

Brauner often selected titles which 
referred to abstract concepts, inner 
states or mental faculties. Not in- 
terested in representing objects per 
se, he concentrated on psychological 
states, usually endowing them with a 
totemic or iconic morphology. 
Spread of Thought is rather unusual 
among Brauner's mature works, 
where simplified compositions on a 
flat, single-toned ground are far 
more common. The angular styliza- 
tion of the figure as well as the 
repetitive hatched motifs of the 
background are distinctly reminis- 
cent of primitive art. The figure's 
static and hieratic frontality and the 
decorative hatching recur from time 
to time in other paintings and draw- 
ings from 1956 to 1960. (v.e.b.) 



1950-1959 



Oil on canvas 
■ 2i'/2 in. 
cm. 
Solomon R Guggenheim Museum 

que and John de Menil 
59 1517 




353 



117 

Alexandei ( alder 
Red Lily Pads 
Ntnuphan rot 
1956 

Red Lily I'lids is at once an abstract 
composition of red-painted discs, 
rods and wires, and a giant emblem 
ol leaves Floating on water. With the 
complex distribution of weight, 
Caldei maintains a continually 
changing equilibrium. The large 
scale of this mobile activates the 
space in which it is hung, and the 
suspension of abstract shapes exem- 
plifies mobility and freedom. 
In the 1940s Jean-Paul Sartre wrote 
about C alder's work: "A mobile does 
not suggest anything: it captures 
genuine living movements and 
shapes them. Mobiles have no mean- 
ing, make you think of nothing but 
themselves. They are, that is all; 
they are absolutes. There is more of 
the unpredictable about them than 
in am other human creation .... In 
short, although mobiles do not seek 
to imitate anything... they are 
nevertheless at once lyrical inven- 
354 tions, technical combinations of an 
almost mathematical quality and sen- 
sitive symbols of Nature." 1 (v.e.b.) 

'J. Lipman, Calder'i Universe, exh. cat., New 
York, 1976, p. 261, 



el metal, mi '' wire 

I scum 




355 



lis 

Salvador Dali 
Paranoiac-critical Study 
of Vermeer's "Lacemaker" 
litude paranoiaque-critique 
Je lu "Dentelliere" de Vermeer 
1955 

By 1954 Dalfs fascination with Jan 
Vermeer's painting The Lacemaker 
merged with his interest in the 
logarithmic spiral as exemplified by 
the rhinoceros horn. That yeat Dali 
and Robert Descharnes collaborated 
on a film, The Prodigious Story of the 
Lacemaker and the Rhinoceros, and 
the following December the artist 
gave a lecture at the Sorbonne in 
Paris on "Phenomenological Aspects 
of the Paranoiac-Critical Method." 
Dali painted the Guggenheim's pic- 
ture only after studying Vermeer's 
original in the Louvre, observing a 
rhinoceros at the zoo and painting a 
more representational copy of The 
Lacemaker (The Robert Lehman Col- 
lection, The Metropolitan Museum 
of Art, New York). He remembers 
that he did our Paranoiac-critical 
Study in two days in Spain. 1 
356 Little remains of the prototype in 
the Guggenheim painting: there is 
only the lacemaker's face surrounded 
by exploding forms which resemble 
rhinoceros horns. As early as 1934 
Dali painted canvases with "paranoi- 
ac images" and defined the "para- 
noiac-critical" method "as a great art 
of playing upon all one's own inner 
contradictions with lucidity by caus- 
ing others to experience the anxie- 
ties and ecstasies of one's life in such 
a way that it becomes gradually as es- 
sential to them as their own." 2 
(v.e.b.) 

1 Conversation with the author, April 1978. 

2 S. Dali and A. Parinaud, The Unspeakable 
Confessions of Salvador Dali, New York, 1976, 
p. 17. 



Oil on cinvas 
i x 8 } /« in 
cm. 

I 'Uggenheim Museum 
New York 




357 



L19 

Jean Dubuffet 

I leshj I ace with Chestnut I lair 

ataine aitx battles chain 
August L951 

Duluillct was attracted to the sur- 
faces "i dilapidated walls, pitted 
roads and the natural crusts ol earth 
and rock, and during the 1940s and 
1950s sought to create an equivalent 
texture in his art. lie experimented 
with a variety of materials to 
produce thick, ruggedly tactile sur- 
faces that constitute deliberately 
awkward, vulgar and abbreviated 
imagery, often ol grotesque faces or 
female nudes. Dubuffet made the 
present work with an oil-based "mor- 
tar," applying it with a palette knife, 
allowing areas to dry partially, then 
scraping, gouging, raking, slicing or 
wiping them before applying more 
medium. The resulting surface is so 
thick that incisions providing the 
contours and delineating features 
seem to model form in relief. lie 
wrote that this mortar enabled him 
to "provoke systems of relief in ob- 
jects where reliefs are least expected, 
750 and lent itself, at the same time, to 
very realistic effects of rugged and 
stony terrains. I enjoyed the idea 
that a single medium should have 
this double (ambiguous) power: to 
accentuate the actual and familiar 
character of certain elements (nota- 
bly in figurations of ground and 
soils), and yet to precipitate other 
, elements into a world of fantasma- 
goric irreality ...."' 
Dubut let's aggressively anticultural, 
antiaesthetic attitude and spontanei- 
ty of expression provided an exam- 
ple for members of the COBRA 
group in Europe and New York art- 
ists such as Claes Oldenburg and Jim 
Dine. (1 .1 .). 



P Selz and I Dubuffet, The Work of Jean 
Dubuffet, exh. cat., New York, 1962, p. 66. 



m board 




359 



120 

Jean Dubuffet 

Door with Couch Grass 

Porte au chiendent 

October 31, 1957 

After moving to Yence in the south 
of France in 1955. Dubuffet became 
interested in doors and even bought 
.i large dilapidated one from a 
peasant so he couild study it at 
home. Dubuffet took one of the can- 
wises he was using at this time for 
studies of earth stratification and ge- 
ographical topography, cut it down 
and transformed it into a door. To 
this he added parts of other paint- 
ings so as to "represent a wall, a 
doorstep, and the ground. Certain of 
these elements, intended for my as- 
semblages, were the result of a spe- 
cial technique. It consisted in shak- 
ing a brush over the painting spread 
out on the floor, covering it with a 
spray of tiny droplets. This is the 
technique, known as 'Tyrolean,' that 
masons use in plastering walls to ob- 
tain certain mellowing effects .... I 
combined this technique with others 
- successive layers, application of 
360 sheets of paper, scattering sand over 
the painting, scratching it with the 
tines of a fork. In this way I 
produced finely worked sheets that 
gave the impression of teeming mat- 
ter, alive and sparkling, which I 
could use to represent a piece of 
ground ..." ' (v.e.b.). 

'J. Dubuffi-t. "Memoir on the Development 
of My Work from 1952," The Work of jean 
Dubuffet, exh. cat . New York, 1962, pp. 132, 
137. 



Mage 
icim Museum 




361 



121 

Alberto Giacometti 

I )iego 

[953 

The sitter is the .mist's brother Die- 
(bom l l H)2). From 1927 Diego 
lived in Alberto's studio at 46, rue 
I [ippolyte-Maindron in Paris and as- 
sisted him with sculpture. He set up 
armatures, patinated the bronzes 
.ind made plaster casts in addition to 
designing and building modern fur- 
niture. Between 1935 and 1940 Die- 
go posed every morning for Alberto, 
who was working from the model 
during that period. The artist later 
observed that, when he worked from 
memory, his heads ultimately be- 
came essentially Diego's head, be- 
cause he had done it most often. 
From time to time Giacometti aban- 
doned painting for certain intervals: 
for example, no canvases exist from 
the late thirties to mid-forties, while 
many paintings date from the fifties 
until the mid-sixties. The frontal 
pose of the seated figure in an interi- 
or setting and the neutral palette of 
grays, tans and browns are charac- 
362 teristic of Giacometti's paintings. 
Likewise, the inner frame painted on 
the canvas, employed earlier by Fer- 
dinand Hodler, appears in most of 
the paintings of the 1950s. This 
device enables the artist to locate the 
figure in the space within the picture 
plane and to keep the figure separate 
from the distance between viewer 
and picture. During the many sit- 
tings for a portrait, Giacometti 
paints over the figure and re-creates 
it again and again. Thus, a painting 
evolves through many states, fluctu- 
ating in degrees of precision and 
vagueness, until he ceases to rework 
it. (v.e.b.) 



nhcim 




363 



122 

I crnand Leger 

Builders with Rope 

Constructeurs au cordage 

1950 

Builders with Rope is a part of a 
major theme, The Builders or Les 
Constructeurs, on which Leger worked 
in 1950-51. He was impressed by all 
the new construction underway in 
the revitalized France he returned to 
after the War, and the idea for the 
series came to him on seeing men 
working on rising girders of a build- 
ing near the road to Chevreuse. 
In this composition Leger has em- 
phasized the rope, treating it as an 
important rhythmic element in the 
lower foreground. In The Great 
Builders (Final Version), 1950 (Col- 
lection Musee Fernand Leger, Biot, 
France), 1 however, branches replace 
the rope as horizontal compositional 
devices, and the rope dangles verti- 
cally from a girder. "In The Builders 
I tried to get the most violent con- 
trasts by opposing human figures 
painted with scrupulous realism to 
the clouds and the metallic struc- 
364 tures." 2 (l.a.s.). 

1 Repr Grand Palais, Leger, exh. cat., Paris, 
1971-72, no. 171. 

2 F. Leger, Function in Painting, New York, 
1971, p. 187. 



K Guggenheim Museum 




365 



L23 

1 lenry Moore 

Three Standing Figures 

L953 

In its abstraction of the human 
figure and exaggeration of isolated 
anatomical features, this work is 
related to African sculpture and to 
the Surrealist sculpture of Picasso 
and Giacometti. Within Moore's 
own body of work, Three Standing 
Figures can be seen in connection 
with the "shelter" drawings of the 
early 1940s, in which the artist ex- 
plored the psychological interaction 
of groups, and with the monumental 
Three Standing Figures of 1947-49 
erected at Battersea Park in London. 
Classicizing elements of the latter, 
however remote, endure in the Gug- 
genheim work. The grouping of 
three figures, their contrapposto 
stances, the variety of rhetorical 
gestures and the echoes of drapery 
creases and swags provide visual 
analogies with ancient sources. Typi- 
cally, Moore conflates the human 
figure with the forms of inanimate 
natural materials such as bone and 
366 rock. The perforations through the 
mass of the sculptured bodies sug- 
gest a slow process of erosion by 
water or wind. 

At least three preparatory drawings 
exist for Three Standing Figures, 
which was cast in bronze from a 
plaster original in an edition of eight, 
with one artist's proof. 1 A ten-inch 
maquette preceding it in 1952 was 
also cast in bronze. Neither of the 
original plasters survives. Moore 
used bronze increasingly from the 
late 1940s; he commented on its 
greater flexibility in comparison 
with stone, and its relative strength 
in withstanding the action of the ele- 
ments, (l.f.). 

1 Discussed and repr. in Rudenstine, 1985, 
p. 580. 



: i-nhcim Collection 




367 



lean Arp 
1886-1966 



Giacomo Balla 
1871-1958 



Max Beckmann 
1884-1950 



Jean (Hans) Arp was born on September 16, 1886, 
in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine. In 1904, after 
leaving the Ecole des Arts et Metiers in Stras- 
bourg, he visited Paris and published his poetry for 
the first time. From 1905 to 1907 Arp studied at 
the Kunstschule of Weimar and in 1908 went to 
Paris, where he attended the Academic Julien. In 
1909 he moved to Switzerland and, in 1911, was 
.i lounder of the Moderner Bund group there. The 
following year he met Robert and Sonia Delaunay 
in Paris and Kandinsky in Munich. Arp participat- 
ed in the Erster Deutscber Herbstsalon in 1913 at 
the gallery of Der Sturm in Berlin. After returning 
to Paris in 1914, he became acquainted with Max 
Jacob, Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire. In 1915 
he moved to Zurich where he executed collages 
and tapestries, often in collaboration with his fu- 
ture wife Sophie Taeuber. 

In 1916 Hugo Ball opened the Cabaret Voltaire, 
which was to become the center of Dada activities 
in Zurich for a group including Arp, Tristan Tzara, 
370 Marcel Janco and others. Arp continued his in- 
volvement with Dada after moving to Cologne in 
1919, contributing to Ernst's periodical Die 
Schammade and creating with him and Johannes 
Theodor Baargeld their collaborative collages or 
Fatagagas. In 1922 he participated in the Kongress 
der Konstruktivisten in Weimar. Soon thereafter he 
began contributing to magazines such as Men, 
Mecano, De Stijl and, in 1925, La Revolution Sur- 
realiste. Arp's work appeared in the first exhibition 
of the Surrealist group at the Galerie Pierre in 
Paris in 1925. With Taeuber and van Doesburg he 
undertook a commission to decorate the cabaret 
L'Aubette in Strasbourg in 1926. This same year 
he settled in Meudon, France. 
In 1931 Arp associated with the Paris-based group 
Abstraction-Creation and the periodical Transi- 
tion. Throughout the 1930s and until the end of 
his life he continued to write and publish poetry 
and essays. 

In 1942 lie fled Meudon for Zurich; he was to 
make Meudon his primary residence again in 1946. 
The artist visited New York in 1949 on the occa- 
sion of his one-man show at Curt Valentin's Buch- 
holz Gallery. In 1950 he was invited to execute a 
relief for the Harvard Graduate Center in Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts. In 1954 Arp received the 
International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice 
Biennale. He was commissioned to design reliefs 
for the Ciudad Universitaria in Caracas in 1955. In 
1960 he traveled to the Middle East. A large 
retrospective of his work was held at The Museum 
of Modern Art in New York in 1958, followed by 
another at the Musee National d'Art Moderne in 
is in 1962. Arp died on June 7, 1966, in Basel. 



Giacomo Balla was born in Turin on July 18, 1871. 
In 1891 he studied briefly at the Accademia Alber- 
tina di Belle Arti and the Liceo Artistico in Turin 
and exhibited for the first time under the aegis of 
the Societa Promotrice di Belle Arti in that city. I Ie 
studied at the University of Turin with Cesare 
Lombroso about 1892. In 1895 Balla moved to 
Rome, where he worked for several years as an il- 
lustrator, caricaturist and portrait painter. In 1899 
his work was included in the Venice Biennale and 
in the Esposizione Internazionale di Belle Arti at the 
galleries of the Societa degli Amatori e Cultori di 
Belle Arti in Rome, where he exhibited regularly 
for the next ten years. In 1900 Balla spent seven 
months in Paris assisting the illustrator Serafino 
Macchiati. About 1903 he began to instruct 
Severini and Umberto Boccioni in divisionist 
painting techniques. In 1903 his work was exhi- 
bited at the Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte del- 
la Citta di Venezia and in 1903 and 1904 at 
the Glaspalast in Munich. In 1904 Balla was 
represented in the Internationale Kunstausstellung 
in Diisseldorf, and in 1909 exhibited at the Salon 
d'Automne in Paris. 

Balla signed the second Futurist painting ma- 
nifesto of 1910 with Boccioni, Severini, Carlo 
Carra and Luigi Russolo, although he did not ex- 
hibit with the group until 1913. In 1912 he 
traveled to London and to Diisseldorf, where he 
began painting his abstract light studies. In 1913 
Balla participated in the Erster Deutscber Herbstsa- 
lon at the gallery of Der Sturm in Berlin and in an 
exhibition at the Rotterdamsche Kunstkring in 
Rotterdam. In 1914 he experimented with sculp- 
ture for the first time and showed it in the Prima 
Esposizione Libera Futurista at the Galleria 
Sprovieri, Rome. He also designed and painted 
Futurist furniture and designed Futurist "anti- 
neutral" clothing. With Fortunato Depero, Balla 
wrote the manifesto Ricostruzione futurista del- 
I'universo in 1915. His first solo exhibitions were 
held that same year at the Societa italiana lampade 
elettriche "Z" and at the Sala d'Arte A. Angelelli in 
Rome. His work was also shown in 1915 at the 
Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San 
Francisco. In 1918 he was given a one-man show 
at the Casa d'Arte Bragaglia in Rome. Balla con- 
tinued to exhibit in Europe and the United States 
and in 1935 was made a member of the Accademia 
di San Luca in Rome. He died on March 1, 1958, 
in Rome. 



Max Beckmann was born in Leipzig on February 
12, 1884. He began to study art with Carl Frithjof 
Smith at the Grossherzogliche Kunstschule in 
Weimar in 1900 and made his first visit to Paris in 
1903-04. During this period Beckmann began his 
lifelong practice of keeping a diary or Tagebucb. In 
the autumn of 1904 he settled in Berlin. 
In 1913 the artist's first one-man show took place 
at the Galerie Paul Cassirer in Berlin. He was dis- 
charged for reasons of health from the medical 
corps of the German army in 1915 and settled in 
Frankfurt. In 1925 Beckmann's work was included 
in the exhibition of Die Neue Sacblichkeit {New 
Objectivity) in Mannheim, and he was appointed 
professor at the Stadelsches Kunstinstitut in 
Frankfurt. His first show in the United States took 
place at J.B. Neumann's New Art Circle in New 
York in 1926. A large retrospective of his work 
was held at the Kunsthalle Mannheim in 1928. 
From 1929 to 1932 he continued to teach in 
Frankfurt but spent time in Paris in the winters. It 
was during these years that Beckmann began to 
use the triptych format. When the Nazis came to 
power in 1933, Beckmann lost his teaching posi- 
tion and moved to Berlin. In 1937 his work was in- 
cluded in the Nazis' exhibition of Entartete Kunst 
(degenerate art). The day after the show opened in 
Munich in July 1937, the artist and his wife left 
Germany for Amsterdam, where they remained 
until 1947. In 1938 he was given the first of 
numerous exhibitions at Curt Valentin's Buchholz 
Gallery in New York. 

Beckmann traveled to Paris and the south of 
France in 1947 and later that year went to the 
United States to teach at the School of Fine Arts 
at Washington University in St. Louis. The first 
Beckmann retrospective in the United States took 
place in 1948 at the City Art Museum of St. Louis. 
The artist taught at the University of Colorado in 
Boulder during the summer of 1949 and that au- 
tumn at the Brooklyn Museum School. Thus, in 

1949, the Beckmanns moved to New York and the 
artist was awarded First Prize in the exhibition 
Painting in the United States, 1949, at the Carnegie 
Institute in Pittsburgh. He died on December 27, 

1950, in New York. 



Constantin Brancusi 
1876-1957 



Georges Braque 
1882-1963 



Victor Brauner 
1903-1966 



Constantin Brancusi was born on February 19, 
1876, in the village of Hobitza, Rumania. He 
studied art at the Craiova School of Arts and 
Crafts from 1894 to 1898 and at the Bucharest 
School of Fine Arts from 1898 to 1901. Eager to 
continue his education in Paris, Brancusi arrived 
there in 1904 and enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts in 1905. The following year his sculpture was 
shown at the Salon d'Automne, where he met 
Rodin. 

Soon after 1907 his mature period began. The 
sculptor had settled in Paris but maintained close 
contact with Rumania throughout this period, 
returning frequently and exhibiting in Bucharest 
almost every year. In Paris his friends included 
Modigliani, Leger, Matisse, Duchamp and Henri 
Rousseau. In 1913 five of Brancusi's sculptures 
were included in the Armory Show in New York. 
Alfred Stieglitz presented the first one-man show 
of Brancusi's work at his gallery "291" in New 
York in 1914. Brancusi was never a member of any 
organized artistic movement, although he associat- 
ed with Tristan Tzara, Picabia and many other 
Dadaists in the early 1920s. In 1921 he was hon- 
ored with a special issue of The Little Review. He 
traveled to the United States twice in 1926 to at- 
tend his one-man shows at Wildenstein and at the 
Brummer Gallery in New York. The following 
year a major trial was initiated in U.S. Customs 
Court to determine whether Brancusi's Bird in 
Space was liable for duty as a manufactured object 
or was a work of art. The court decided in 1928 
that the sculpture was a work of art. 
Brancusi traveled extensively in the 1930s, visiting 
India and Egypt as well as European countries. He 
was commissioned to create a war memorial for a 
park in Turgu Jiu, Rumania, in 1935, and designed 
a complex which included gates, tables, stools and 
an Endless Column. In 1937 Brancusi discussed a 
proposed Temple of Meditation in India with the 
Maharajah of Indore (who had purchased several 
of his sculptures), but the project was never real- 
ized. After 1939 Brancusi worked alone in Paris. 
His last sculpture, a plaster Grand Coq, was com- 
pleted in 1949. In 1952 Brancusi became a French 
citizen. He died in Paris on March 16, 1957. 



Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil-sur-Seine 
on May 13, 1882. He grew up in Le Havre and 
studied evenings at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts there 
from about 1897 to 1899. He left for Paris to 
study under a master-decorator to receive his 
craftsman certificate in 1901. From 1902 to 1904 
he painted at the Academie Humbert in Paris 
where he met Marie Laurencin and Picabia. By 
1906 Braque's work was no longer Impressionist 
but Fauve in style; after spending that summer in 
Antwerp with Othon Friesz, he showed his Fauve 
work the following year in the Salon des Indepen- 
dants in Paris. His first one-man show was at D.- 
H. Kahnweiler's gallery in 1908. From 1909 Picas- 
so and Braque worked together in developing 
Cubism; by 1911 their styles were extremely simi- 
lar. In 1912 they started to incorporate collage ele- 
ments into their painting and experiment with the 
papier co lie (pasted paper) technique. Their artistic 
collaboration lasted until 1914. Braque was 
wounded during World War I; upon his recovery 
in 1917 he began a close friedship with Gris. 
After World War I his work became freer and less 
schematic. His fame grew in 1922 as a result of a 
major exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in Paris. 
In the mid-twenties Braque designed the decor for 
two Sergei Diaghilev ballets. By the end of the de- 
cade he had returned to a more realistic interpreta- 
tion of nature, although certain aspects of Cubism 
always remained present in his work. In 1931 
Braque made his first engraved plasters and began 
to portray mythological subjects. His first impor- 
tant retrospective took place in 1933 at the 
Kunsthalle Basel. He won First Prize at the Car- 
negie International in Pittsburgh in 1937. 
During World War II Braque remained in Paris. 
His paintings at that time, primarily still lifes and 
interiors, became more somber. In addition to 
painting Braque also made lithographs, engravings 
and sculpture. From the late 1940s Braque treated 
various recurring themes such as birds, ateliers, 
landscapes and seascapes. In 1953 he designed 
stained-glass windows for the church of Varen- 
geville. During the last few years of his life 
Braque's ill health prevented him from undertak- 
ing further large-scale commissions but he con- 
tinued to paint and make lithographs and jewelry 
designs. He died in Paris on August 31, 1963. 



Victor Brauner was born on June 15, 1903, in 
Piatra-Neamt, Rumania. His father was involved 
in spiritualism and sent Brauner to evangelical 
school in Braila from 1916 to 1918. In 1921 he 
briefly attended the School of Fine Arts in 
Bucharest, where he painted Cezannesque land- 
scapes. He exhibited paintings in his subsequent 
expressionist style at his first one-man show at the 
Galerie Mozart in Bucharest in 1924. Brauner 
helped found the Dadaist review 75 HP in 
Bucharest. He went to Paris in 1925 but returned 
to Bucharest approximately a year later. In 
Bucharest in 1929 Brauner was associated with the 
Dadaist and Surrealist review UNU. 
Brauner settled in Paris in 1930 and became a 
friend of his compatriot Brancusi. Then he met 
Tanguy who introduced him to the Surrealists by 

1933. Andre Breton wrote an enthusiastic in- 
troduction to the catalogue for Brauner's first 
Parisian one-man show at the Galerie Pierre in 

1934. The exhibition was not well-received, and in 
1935 Brauner returned to Bucharest where he re- 
mained until 1938. That year he moved to Paris, 
lived briefly with Tanguy and painted a number of 
works featuring distorted human figures with mu- 
tilated eyes. Some of these paintings, dated as ear- 
ly as 1931, proved gruesomely prophetic when he 
lost his own eye in a scuffle in 1938. At the outset 
of World War II Brauner fled to the south of 
France, where he maintained contact with other 
Surrealists in Marseille. Later he sought refuge in 
Switzerland; unable to obtain suitable materials 
there, he improvised an encaustic from candle wax 
and developed a graffito technique. 

Brauner returned to Paris in 1945. He was includ- 
ed in the Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme at 
the Galerie Maeght in Paris in 1947. His postwar 
painting incorporated forms and symbols based on 
tarot cards, Egyptian hieroglyphics and antique 
Mexican codices. In the 1950s Brauner traveled to 
Normandy and Italy, and his work was shown at 
the Venice Biennale in 1954 and in 1966. He died 
in Paris on March 12, 1966. 



Alexander Calder 
1898-1976 



Paul Cezanne 
1839-1906 



Marc Chagall 
1887-1985 



Alexander Calder was born on July 22, 1898, in 
Lawnton, Pennsylvania, into a family of artists. In 
1919 he received an engineering degree from 
Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New 
Jersey. Calder attended the Art Students League 
in New York from 1923 to 1926, studying briefly 
with Thomas Hart Benton and John Sloan, among 
others. As a free-lance artist for the National Police 
Gazette in 1925 he spent two weeks sketching at 
the circus; his fascination with the subject dates 
from this time. He also made his first sculpture in 
1925; the following year he made several construc- 
tions of animals and figures with wire and wood. 
Calder's first exhibition of paintings took place in 
1926 at The Artist's Gallery in New York. Later 
this year he went to Paris and attended the 
Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. In Paris he 
met Stanley William Hayter, exhibited at the 1926 
Salon des Independants and in 1927 began giving 
performances of his miniature circus. The first 
show of his wire animals and caricature portraits 
3^2 was held at the Weyhe Gallery, New York, in 
1928. That same year he met Miro, who became 
his lifelong friend. Subsequently Calder divided 
his time between France and the United States. In 
1929 the Galerie Billiet gave him his first one-man 
show in Paris. He met Leger, Frederick Kiesler 
and van Doesburg and visited Mondrian's studio 
in 1930. Calder began to experiment with abstract 
sculpture at this time and in 1931-32 introduced 
moving parts into his work. These moving sculp- 
tures were called mobiles; the stationary construc- 
tions were to be named stabiles. He exhibited with 
the Abstraction-Creation group in Paris in 1933. In 
1943 The Museum of Modern Art in New York 
gave him a major one-man exhibition. 
During the 1950s Calder traveled widely and ex- 
ecuted Towers (wall mobiles) and Gongs (sound 
mobiles). He won First Prize for Sculpture at the 
1952 Venice Biennale. Late in the decade the ar- 
tist worked extensively with gouache; from this 
period he executed numerous major public com- 
missions. In 1964-65 the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum presented a major Calder retrospective. 
He began the Totems and the Animobiles, varia- 
tions on the standing mobile, in 1966 and 1971, 
respectively. An important Calder exhibition was 
held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 
New York in 1976. Calder died in New York on 
November 11, 1976. 



Paul Cezanne was born on January 19, 1839, in 
Aix-en-Provence. In 1854 he enrolled in the free 
drawing academy there, which he attended inter- 
mittently for several years. In 1858 he graduated 
from the College Bourbon, where he had become 
an intimate friend of his fellow student Emile 
Zola. Cezanne entered the law school of the 
University of Aix in 1859 to placate his father, but 
abandoned his studies to join Zola in Paris in 
1861. For the next twenty years Cezanne divided 
his time between the Midi and Paris. In the capital 
he briefly attended the Atelier Suisse with Camille 
Pissarro, who later became an important influence 
on his art. In 1862 Cezanne began long friendships 
with Claude Monet and Renoir. His paintings 
were included in the 1863 Salon des Refuses, which 
displayed works not accepted by the jury of the offi- 
cial Paris Salon. The Salon itself rejected Cezanne's 
submissions each year from 1864 to 1869. 
In 1870, following the declaration of the Franco- 
Prussian War, Cezanne left Paris for Aix and then 
nearby L'Estaque, where he continued to paint. 
He made the first of several visits to Pontoise in 
1872; there he worked alongside Pissarro. He par- 
ticipated in the first Impressionist exhibition of 
1874. From 1876 to 1879 his works were again 
consistently rejected at the Salon. He showed 
again with the Impressionists in 1877 in their third 
exhibition. At this time Georges Riviere was one 
of the few critics to support Cezanne's art. In 1882 
the Salon accepted his work for the first and only 
time. From 1883 Cezanne resided in the south of 
France, although he returned to Paris occasionally. 
In 1890 Cezanne exhibited with the group Les XX 
in Brussels and spent five months in Switzerland. 
He traveled to Giverny in 1894 to visit Monet, 
who introduced him to Auguste Rodin and the 
critic Gustave Geffroy. Cezanne's first one-man 
show was held at Ambroise Vollard's gallery in 
Paris in 1895. From this time he received increas- 
ing recognition. In 1899 he participated in the Sal- 
on des Independants in Paris for the first time. 
The following year he took part in the Centennial 
Exhibition in Paris. In 1903 the Berlin and Vienna 
Secessions included Cezanne's work, and in 1904 
he exhibited at the Paris Salon d'Automne. That 
same year he was given a solo exhibition at the 
Galerie Cassirer in Berlin. Cezanne died on Oc- 
tober 22, 1906, in Aix-en-Provence. 



Marc Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, in the Rus- 
sian town of Vitebsk. From 1906 to 1909 he 
studied in St. Petersburg at the Imperial School 
for the Protection of the Arts and with Leon 
Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris where he as- 
sociated with Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert 
Delaunay and encountered Fauvism and Cubism. 
He participated in the Salon des Independants and 
the Salon d'Automne in 1912. His first one-man 
show was held in 1914 at the gallery of Der Sturm 
in Berlin. 

Chagall returned to Russia during the war, settling 
in Vitebsk, where he was appointed Commissar for 
Art. He founded the Vitebsk Academy and direct- 
ed it until disagreements with the Suprematists 
resulted in his resignation in 1920. He moved to 
Moscow and executed his first stage designs for 
the State Jewish Kamerny Theater there. After a 
sojourn in Berlin Chagall returned to Paris in 1923 
and met Ambroise Vollard. His first retrospective 
took place in 1924 at the Galerie Barbazanges- 
Hodebert, Paris. During the 1930s he traveled to 
Palestine, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and Ita- 
ly. In 1933 the Kunsthalle Basel held a major 
retrospective of his work. 

During World War II Chagall fled to the United 
States; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
gave him a retrospective in 1946. He settled per- 
manently in France in 1948 and exhibited in Paris, 
Amsterdam and London. During 1951 he visited 
Israel and executed his first sculptures. The fol- 
lowing year the artist traveled in Greece and Italy. 
In 1962 he designed windows for the synagogue of 
the Hadassah Medical Center near Jerusalem and 
the cathedral at Metz. He designed a ceiling for 
the Opera in Paris in 1964 and murals for the 
Metropolitan Opera House, New York, in 1965. 
An exhibition of the artist's work from 1967 to 
1977 was held at the Musee National du Louvre, 
Paris, in 1977-78. Chagall died in St. Paul de 
Vence, France, on March 28, 1985. 



Salvador Dali 
1904-1989 



Giorgio de Chirico 
1888-1978 



Edgar Degas 
1834-1917 



Dali was born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali y 
Domenech in the Catalonian town of Figueras, 
Spain, on May 11, 1904. In 1921 he enrolled in 
the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernan- 
do in Madrid, where he became a friend of the 
poet Federico Garcia Lorca and Luis Bunuel. His 
first one-man show was held in 1925 at the Galer- 
ies Dalmau in Barcelona. In 1926 Dali was ex- 
pelled from the Academia and the following year 
he visited Paris and met Picasso. He collaborated 
with Bunuel on the film U« Chien Andalou in 
1928. At the end of the year he returned to Paris 
and met Tristan Tzara and Paul Eluard. About this 
time Dali produced his first Surrealist paintings 
and met Andre Breton and Louis Aragon. He 
worked with Bunuel and Ernst on the film L'Age 
d'or in 1930. During the 1930s the artist con- 
tributed to various Surrealist publications and il- 
lustrated the works of Surrealist writers and poets. 
His first one-man show in the United States took 
place at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 
1933. 

Dali was censured by the Surrealists in 1934. 
Toward the end of the decade he made several 
trips to Italy to study the art of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. In 1940 Dali fled to the 
United States, where he worked on theatrical 
productions, wrote, illustrated books and painted. 
A major retrospective of his work opened in 1941 
at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and 
traveled through the United States. In 1942 Dali 
published his autobiography and began exhibiting 
at M. Knoedler and Co. in New York. He returned 
to Europe in 1948, settling in Port Lligat, Spain. 
His first paintings with religious subjects date 
from 1948-49. In 1954 a Dali retrospective was 
held at the Palazzo Pallavicini in Rome and in 
1964 an important retrospective of his work was 
shown in Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto. He con- 
tinued painting, writing and illustrating during the 
late 1960s. The Salvador Dali Museum in 
Cleveland was inaugurated in 1971, and the Dalin- 
ian Holographic Room opened at M. Knoedler and 
Co., New York, in 1973. In 1980 a major Dali 
retrospective was held at the Musee National 
d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in 
Paris, and his work was exhibited at the Tate 
Gallery, London. The artist died on January 23, 
1989, in Figueras. 



Giorgio de Chirico was born to Italian parents in 
Volos, Greece, on July 10, 1888. In 1900 he began 
studies at the Athens Polytechnic Institute and at- 
tended evening classes in drawing from the nude. 
About 1906 he moved to Munich, where he at- 
tended the Akademie der bildenden Kiinste. At 
this time he became interested in the art of Arnold 
Bocklin and Max Klinger and the writings of 
Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer. De 
Chirico moved to Milan in 1909, to Florence in 
1910 and to Paris in 1911. In Paris he was includ- 
ed in the Salon d'Automne in 1912 and 1913 and 
in the Salon des Independants in 1913 and 1914. 
As a frequent visitor to Apollinaire's weekly 
gatherings, he met Brancusi, Derain, Max Jacob 
and others. Because of the war, in 1915 de Chirico 
returned to Italy, where he met Filippo de Pisis in 
1916 and Carra in 1917; they formed the group 
that was later called the Scuola Metafisica. 
The artist moved to Rome in 1918, and was given 
his first solo exhibition at the Casa d'Arte 
Bragaglia in that city in the winter of 1918-19. In 
this period he was one of the leaders of the Gruppo 
Valori Plastici, with whom he showed at the Na- 
tionalgalerie in Berlin. From 1920 to 1924 he 
divided his time between Rome and Florence. A 
one-man exhibition of de Chirico' s work was held 
at the Galleria Arte in Milan in 1921, and he par- 
ticipated in the Venice Biennale for the first time 
in 1924. In 1925 the artist returned to Paris, 
where he exhibited that year at Leonce Rosen- 
berg's Galerie L'Effort Moderne. In Paris his 
work was shown at the Galerie Paul Guillaume in 
1926 and 1927 and at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher 
in 1927. In 1928 he was given one-man shows at 
the Arthur Tooth Gallery in London and the 
Valentine Gallery in New York. In 1929 de Chiri- 
co designed scenery and costumes for Sergei Di- 
aghilev's production of the ballet Le Bal, and his 
book Hebdomeros was published. The artist 
designed for the ballet and opera in subsequent 
years, and continued to exhibit in Europe, the 
United States, Canada and Japan. In 1945 the first 
part of his book Memorie della mia vita appeared. 
De Chirico died on November 20, 1978, in Rome, 
his residence for over thirty years. 



Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas was born in Paris on 
July 19, 1834. Following his family's wishes, he 
began to study law but abandoned that pursuit in 
1855 to become an artist. Starting in 1853 he cop- 
ied often at the Louvre. As preparation for en- 
trance into the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he studied 
under Louis Lamothe, a former pupil of J.-A.-D. 
Ingres. In 1855 he was admitted to the Ecole but 
remained there only briefly. Degas spent 1856-57 
in Florence, Rome and Naples copying works 
by Italian masters, especially the Primitives. 
Throughout his life he continued to travel exten- 
sively, most frequently to Italy, but also to En- 
gland, Spain and the United States. 
In the early 1860s Degas began to depict contem- 
porary subjects: at first horses and racing scenes, 
later musicians, the opera, dancers and circuses. 
From 1865 to 1870 he exhibited regularly at the 
Paris Salon, showing portraits for the most part. 
With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 
1870, Degas enlisted in the infantry and was found , 7 , 
to be almost blind in his right eye. His close friend- 
ship with Henri Rouart dates from 1870. Two 
years later he was introduced to Paul Durand- 
Ruel. In 1874 Degas's work was included in the 
first exhibition of the Impressionists; he showed in 
all but one of the seven subsequent exhibitions and 
helped organize several of them. Degas met Mary 
Cassatt about 1877, the year he invited her to join 
the Impressionist group. In the late 1870s he be- 
gan to work seriously in sculpture, choosing as his 
subjects women bathing, horses and dancers. His 
work was exhibited in London and New York in 
1883, and Durand-Ruel showed him in New York 
in 1886. Degas met Gauguin in 1885. About 1890 
Degas's eyesight began to fail. That same year he 
started to collect art intensively and eventually 
formed an impressive collection that included 
works by El Greco, Manet, Eugene Delacroix and 
Gauguin as well as Japanese art. Degas's last one- 
man exhibition in his lifetime, comprising land- 
scape pastels, was organized by Durand-Ruel in 
1892. The artist died in Paris on or about Septem- 
ber 26, 1917. 



Robert Delaunay 
1885-1941 



Paul Delvaux 
1897 



Theo van Doesburg 
1883-1931 



374 



Robert-Victor-Felix Delaunay was born in Paris on 
April 12, 1885. In L902, alter secondary educa- 
tion, he apprenticed in a studio for theater sets in 
Belleville. In 1903 he started painting and by 1 ^04 
was exhibiting: that year and in 1906 at the Salon 
d'Automne and from L904 until World War I at 
the Salon des Independants. Between 1905 and 
1907 Delaunay became friendly with Rousseau 
and Jean Metzinger and studied the color theories 
of M.-E. Chevreul; he was then painting in a Neo- 
[mpressionist manner. Cezanne's work also in- 
fluenced Delaunay around this time. From 1907-08 
he served in the military in Laon and upon return- 
ing to Paris he had contact with the Cubists, who 
in turn influenced his work. The period 1909-10 
saw the emergence of Delaunay's personal style: he 
painted his first Eiffel Tower in 1909. In 1910 
Delaunay married the painter Sonia Terk, who be- 
came his collaborator on many projects. 
Delaunay's participation in exhibitions in Germany 
and association with advanced artists working 
there began in 1911: that year Kandinsky invited 
him to participate in the first Blaue Reiter (Blue 
Ruler) exhibition in Munich. At this time he be- 
came friendly with Guillaume Apollinaire, Henri 
Le Fauconnier and Gleizes. In 1912 Delaunay's 
first one-man show took place at the Galerie Bar- 
bazanges, Paris, and he began his Window pic- 
tures. Inspired by the lyricism of color of the Win- 
dows, Apollinaire invented the term "Orphism" or 
"Orphic Cubism" to describe Delaunay's work. In 
1913 Delaunay painted his Circular Form or Disc 
pictures; this year also marks the beginning of his 
friendship with Blaise Cendrars. 
From 1914 to 1920 Delaunay lived in Spain and 
Portugal and became friends with Sergei Di- 
aghilev, Igor Stravinsky, Diego Rivera and 
Leonide Massine. He did the decor for the Ballets 
Russes in 1918. By 1920 he had returned to Paris. 
I [ere, in 1922, a major exhibition of his work was 
held at Galerie Paul Guillaume, and he began his 
second Eiffel Tower series. In 1924 he undertook 
his Runner paintings and in 1925 executed frescoes 
for the Palais de l'Ambassade de France at the Ex- 
position Internationale des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. 
In 1937 he completed murals for the Palais des 
Chemins de Fer and Palais de l'Air at the Paris 
World's Fair. His last works were decorations for 
the sculpture hall ol the Salon des Tuileries in 
1938. In 1939 he helped organize the exhibition 
Realites Nouvelles. Delaunay died in Montpellier 
on October 25, 1941. 



Paul Delvaux was born on September 23, 1897, in 
Antheit, Belgium. At the Academie Royale des 
Beaux-Arts in Brussels he studied architecture 
from 1916 to 1917 and decorative painting from 
1918 to 1919. During the early 1920s he was in- 
fluenced by James Ensor and Gustave De Smet. 
In 1936 Delvaux shared an exhibition at the Pa- 
lais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels with Magritte, a 
fellow member of the Belgian group Les Compag- 
nons de I' Art. 

Delvaux was given one-man exhibitions in 1938 at 
the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and the Lon- 
don Gallery in London, the latter organized by 
E.L.T. Mesens and Roland Penrose. That same 
year he participated in the Exposition Internationale 
dti Sunealisme at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in 
Paris, organized by Andre Breton and Paul Eluard, 
and an exhibition of the same title at the Galerie 
Robert in Amsterdam. The artist visited Italy in 
1938 and 1939. His first retrospective was held at 
the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1944-45. 
Delvaux executed stage designs for Jean Genet's 
Adame Miroire in 1947 and collaborated with Elu- 
ard on the book Poemes, peintures et dessins, pub- 
lished in Geneva and Paris the next year. After a 
brief sojourn in France in 1949, the following year 
he was appointed professor at the Ecole Su- 
perieure d'Art et d'Architecture in Brussels, a po- 
sition he retained until 1962. From the early 1950s 
he executed a number of mural commissions in 
Belgium. About the middle of the decade Delvaux 
settled in Boitsfort, and in 1956 he traveled to 
Greece. 

From 1965 to 1966 Delvaux served as President 
and Director of the Academie Royale des Beaux- 
Arts of Belgium, and about this time he produced 
his first lithographs. Retrospectives of his work 
were held at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille in 
1965, at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 
1969 and at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen 
in Rotterdam in 1973. Also in 1973 he was award- 
ed the Rembrandt Prize of the Johann Wolfgang 
Stiftung. A Delvaux retrospective was shown at 
The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo 
and The National Museum of Modern Art of Kyo- 
to in 1975. In 1977 he became an associate mem- 
ber of the Academie des Beaux-Arts of France. 
Delvaux lives and works in Brussels. 



Christian Emil Marie Kiipper, who adopted the 
pseudonym Theo van Doesburg, was born in 
Utrecht, the Netherlands, on August 30, 1883. 
His first exhibition of paintings was held in 1908 
in the Hague. In the early 1910s he wrote poetry 
and established himself as an art critic. From 1914 
to 1916 van Doesburg served in the Dutch army, 
after which time he settled in Leiden and began his 
collaboration with the architects J.J. P. Oud and 
Jan Wils. In 1917 they founded the group De Stijl 
and the periodical of the same name; other original 
members were Mondrian, Vantongerloo, Bart van 
der Leek and Vilmos Huszar. Van Doesburg ex- 
ecuted decorations for Oud's De Vonk project in 
Noordwijkerhout in 1917. 

In 1920 he resumed his writing, using the pen 
names I.K. Bonset and later Aldo Camini. Van 
Doesburg visited Berlin and Weimar in 1921 and 
the following year taught at the Weimar Bauhaus; 
here he associated with Ludwig Mies van der 
Rohe, Le Corbusier, Raoul Hausmann and Hans 
Richter. He was interested in Dada at this time 
and worked with Schwitters as well as Arp, Tristan 
Tzara and others on the review Mecano in 1922. 
Exhibitions of the architectural designs of van 
Doesburg, Cor van Eesteren and Gerrit Rietveld 
were held in Paris in 1923 at Leonce Rosenberg's 
Galerie l'Effort Moderne and in 1924 at the Ecole 
Speciale d'Architecture. 

The Landesmuseum of Weimar presented a one- 
man show of van Doesburg's work in 1924. That 
same year he lectured on modern literature in 
Prague, Vienna and Hanover, and the Bauhaus 
published his Grundbegriffe der neuen gestaltenden 
Kunst {Principles of Neo-Plastic Art). A new phase 
of De Stijl was declared by van Doesburg in his 
manifesto of "Elementarism," published in 1926. 
During that year he collaborated with Arp and 
Sophie Taeuber-Arp on the decoration of the 
restaurant-cabaret L'Aubette in Strasbourg. Van 
Doesburg returned to Paris in 1929 and began 
working on a house at Meudon-Val-Fleury with 
van Eesteren. Also in that year he published the 
first issue of Art Concret, the organ of the Paris- 
based group of the same name. Van Doesburg was 
the moving force behind the formation of the 
group Abstraction-Creation in Paris. The artist died 
on March 7, 1931, in Davos, Switzerland. 



Jean Dubuffet 
1901-1985 



Marcel Duchamp 
1887-1968 



Raymond Duchamp-Villon 
1876-1918 



Jean Dubuffet was born in Le Havre on July 31, 
1901. He attended art classes in his youth and in 
1918 moved to Paris to study at the Academie 
Julian, which he left after six months. During this 
time Dubuffet met Suzanne Valadon, Dufy, Leger 
and Max Jacob and became fascinated with Hans 
Prinzhorn's book on psychopathic art. He traveled 
to Italy in 1923 and South America in 1924. Then 
Dubuffet gave up painting for about ten years, 
working as an industrial draftsman and later in the 
family wine business. He committed himself to be- 
coming an artist in 1942. 

Dubuffet's first one-man exhibition was held at 
the Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris in 1944. During 
the forties the artist associated with Charles Rat- 
ton, Jean Paulhan, Georges Limbour and Andre 
Breton. His style and subject matter in this period 
owed a debt to Klee. From 1945 he collected Art 
Brut, spontaneous, direct works by untutored in- 
dividuals, such as mental patients. The Pierre 
Matisse Gallerv gave him his first one-man show in 
New York in 1947. 

From 1951 to 1952 Dubuffet lived in New York; 
he then returned to Paris, where a retrospective of 
his work took place at the Cercle Volney in 1954. 
His first museum retrospective occurred in 1957 at 
the Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany. 
Major Dubuffet exhibitions have since been held 
at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Art In- 
stitute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum, Amster- 
dam, the Tate Gallery, London, and the Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum. His paintings of 
L'Hourloupe, a series begun in 1962, were exhibit- 
ed at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 1964. A col- 
lection of Dubuffet's writings, Prospectus et tons 
ecrits suivants, was published in 1967, the same 
year he started his architectural structures. Soon 
thereafter he began numerous commissions for 
monumental outdoor sculptures. In 1971 he 
produced his first theater props, the "practicables" . 
A major Dubuffet retrospective was presented at 
the Akademie der Kiinste, Berlin, the Museum 
Moderner Kunst, Vienna, and the Joseph- 
Haubrichkunsthalle, Cologne, in 1980-81. In 1981 
the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum observed 
the artist's eightieth birthday with an exhibition. 
Dubuffet died in Paris on May 12, 1985. 



Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp was born on July 
28, 1887, near Blainville, France. In 1904 he 
joined his artist brothers, Jacques Villon and Ray- 
mond Duchamp-Villon, in Paris, where he studied 
painting at the Academie Julien until 1905. 
Duchamp's early works were Post-Impressionist in 
style. He exhibited for the first time in 1909 at the 
Salon des Independants and the Salon d'Automne 
in Paris. His paintings of 1911 were directly relat- 
ed to Cubism but emphasized successive images of 
a single body in motion. In 1912 he painted the 
definitive version of Nude Descending a Staircase; 
this was shown at the Salon de la Section d'Or of 
that same year and subsequently created great con- 
troversy at the Armory Show in New York in 
1913. The Futurist show at Galerie Bernheim- 
Jeune, Paris, in 1912 impressed him profoundly. 
Duchamp's radical and iconoclastic ideas predated 
the founding of the Dada movement in Zurich in 
1916. By 1913 he had abandoned traditional 
painting and drawing for various experimental 
forms including mechanical drawings, studies and 
notations that would be incorporated in a major 
work, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, 
Even of 1915-23. In 1914 Duchamp introduced his 
Readymades — common objects, sometimes altered, 
presented as works of art — which had a revolution- 
ary impact upon many painters and sculptors. In 
1915 Duchamp came to New York where his circle 
included Katherine Dreier and Man Ray, with 
whom he founded the Societe Anonyme, as well as 
Louise and Walter Arensberg, Picabia and other 
avant-garde figures. 

After playing chess avidly for nine months in Bue- 
nos Aires, Duchamp returned to France in the 
summer of 1919 and associated with the Dada 
group in Paris. In New York in 1920 he made his 
first motor-driven constructions and invented 
Rrose Selavy, his feminine alter ego. Duchamp 
moved back to Paris in 1923 and seemed to have 
abandoned art for chess but in fact continued his 
artistic experiments. From the mid- 1930s he col- 
laborated with the Surrealists and participated in 
their exhibitions. Duchamp settled permanently in 
New York in 1942 and became a United States 
citizen in 1955. During the 1940s he associated 
and exhibited with the Surrealist emigres in New 
York, and in 1946 began Etant donnes, a major as- 
semblage on which he worked secretly for the next 
twenty years. Duchamp directly influenced a 
generation of young Americans. He died in the 
Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine on October 2, 
1968. 



Raymond Duchamp-Villon was born Pierre- 
Maurice-Raymond Duchamp on November 5, 
1876, in Damville, near Rouen. From 1894 to 
1898 he studied medicine at the University of 
Paris. When illness forced him to abandon his 
studies, he decided to make a career in sculpture, 
until then an avocation. During the early years of 
the century he moved to Paris, where he exhibited 
for the first time at the Salon de la Societe Nation- 
ale des Beaux-Arts in 1902. His second show was 
held at the same Salon in 1903, the year he settled 
in Neuilly-sur-Seine. In 1905 he had his first exhi- 
bition at the Salon d'Automne and a show at the 
Galerie Legrip in Rouen with his brother, the 
painter Villon; he moved with him to Puteaux two 
years later. 

His participation in the jury of the sculpture sec- 
tion of the Salon d'Automne began in 1907 and 
was instrumental in promoting the Cubists in the 
early 1910s. Around this time he, Villon and their 
other brother, Marcel Duchamp, attended weekly 
meetings of the Puteaux group of artists and crit- 
ics. In 1911 he exhibited at the Galerie de l'Art 
Contemporain in Paris; the following year his 
work was included in a show organized by the 
Duchamp brothers at the Salon de la Section d'Or 
at the Galerie de la Boetie. Duchamp- Villon's 
work was exhibited at the Armory Show in New 
York in 1913 and the Galerie Andre Groult in 
Paris, the Galerie S.V.U. Manes in Prague and the 
gallery of Der Sturm in Berlin in 1914. During 
World War I Duchamp-Villon served in the army 
in a medical capacity, but was able to continue 
work on his major sculpture The Horse. He con- 
tracted typhoid fever in late 1916 while stationed 
at Champagne; the disease ultimately resulted in 
his death on October 9, 1918, in the military 
hospital at Cannes. 



Max Ernst 
1891-1976 



Paul Gauguin 
1848-1903 



Alberto Giacometti 
1901-1966 



Max Ernst was born on April 2, 1891, in Briihl, 
Germany. He enrolled in the University at Bonn 
in 1909 to study philosophy but soon abandoned 
this pursuit to concentrate on art. At this time he 
was interested in psychology and the art of the 
mentally ill. In 1911 Ernst became a friend of 
Macke and joined the Rbeiniscbe Expressionisten 
group in Bonn. Ernst showed for the first time in 
1912 at the Galerie Feldman in Cologne. At the 
Sonderbund exhibition of that year in Cologne he 
saw the work of van Gogh, Cezanne, Munch and 
Picasso. In 1913 he met Guillaume Apollinaire and 
Robert Delaunay and traveled to Paris. Ernst par- 
ticipated that same year in the Enter Deutscher 
Herbstsalon. In 1914 he met Arp, who was to be- 
come a lifelong friend. 

Despite military service throughout World War I, 
Ernst was able to continue painting and to exhibit 
in Berlin at Der Sturm in 1916. He returned to 
Cologne in 1918. The next year he produced his 
_- first collages and founded the short-lived Cologne 
Dada movement with Johannes Theodor Baargeld; 
they were joined by Arp and others. In 1921 Ernst 
exhibited for the first time in Paris, at the Galerie 
Au Sans Pareil. He was involved in Surrealist ac- 
tivities in the early 1920s with Paul Eluard and 
Andre Breton. In 1925 Ernst executed his first 
frottages; a series of frottages was published in his 
book Histoire Naturelle in 1926. He collaborated 
with Miro on designs for Sergei Diaghilev this 
same year. The first of his collage-novels, La 
Femme 100 tetes, was published in 1929. The fol- 
lowing year the artist collaborated with Dali and 
Buiiuel on the film L'Age d'or. 
His first American show was held at the Julien 
Levy Gallery, New York, in 1932. In 1936 Ernst 
was represented in Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism 
at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 
1939 he was interned in France as an enemy alien. 
Two years later Ernst fled to the United States 
with Peggy Guggenheim, whom he married early 
in 1942. After their divorce he married Dorothea 
Tanning and in 1953 resettled in France. Ernst 
received the Grand Prize for painting at the 
Venice Biennale in 1954 and in 1975 the Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Museum gave him a major 
retrospective, which traveled in modified form to 
the Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris, in 
1975. He died on April 1, 1976, in Paris. 



Paul Gauguin was born on June 7, 1848, in Paris 
and lived in Lima, Peru, from 1851 to 1855. He 
served in the merchant marine from 1865 to 1871 
and traveled in the tropics. Gauguin later worked 
as a stockbroker's clerk in Paris but painted in his 
free time: he began working with Pissarro in 1874 
and showed in every Impressionist exhibition be- 
tween 1879 and 1886. By 1884 Gauguin had 
moved with his family to Copenhagen, where he 
unsuccessfully pursued a business career. He 
returned to Paris in 1885 to paint full time, leaving 
his family in Denmark. 

In 1885 Gauguin met Degas; the next year he met 
Charles Laval and Emile Bernard in Pont-Aven 
and van Gogh in Paris. With Laval he traveled to 
Panama and Martinique in 1887 in search of more 
exotic subject matter. Increasingly, Gauguin 
turned to primitive cultures for inspiration. In 
Brittany again in 1888 he met Paul Serusier and 
renewed his acquaintance with Bernard. As self- 
designated Synthetists, they were welcomed in 
Paris by the Symbolist literary and artistic circle. 
Gauguin organized a group exhibition of their 
work at the Cafe Volpini, Paris, in 1889, in con- 
junction with the World's Fair in that city. In 
1891 Gauguin auctioned his paintings to raise 
money for a voyage to Tahiti, which he undertook 
that same year. 

In 1893 illness forced him to return to Paris, 
where, with the critic Charles Morice, he began 
Noa Noa, a book about Tahiti. Gauguin was able 
to return to Tahiti in 1895. He unsuccessfully at- 
tempted suicide in January 1898, not long after 
completing his mural-sized painting D'oii venous 
nous? Qui sommes nous? Ou allons nous? In 1899 
he championed the cause of French settlers in Ta- 
hiti in a political journal, Les Guepes, and founded 
his own periodical, he Sourire. Gauguin's other 
writings, which were autobiographical, include Ca- 
hier pour Aline (1892), L'Esprit moderne et le 
catholicisme (1897 and 1902) and Avant et apres 
(1902). In 1901 the artist moved to the Marque- 
sas, where he died on May 8, 1903. A major 
retrospective of his works was held at the Salon 
d'Automne in Paris in 1906. 



Alberto Giacometti was born on October 10, 
1901, in Borgonovo, Switzerland, and grew up in 
the nearby town of Stampa. His father Giovanni 
was a Post-Impressionist painter. From 1919 to 
1920 he studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts and sculpture and drawing at the Ecole des 
Arts et Metiers in Geneva. In 1920 he traveled to 
Italy, where he was impressed by the works of 
Cezanne and Alexander Archipenko at the Venice 
Biennale. He was also deeply affected by primitive 
and Egyptian art and by the masterpieces of Giot- 
to and Tintoretto. In 1922 Giacometti settled in 
Paris, making frequent visits to Stampa. From 
time to time over the next several years he attend- 
ed Antoine Bourdelle's sculpture classes at the 
Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. 
In 1927 the artist moved into a studio with his 
brother Diego, his lifelong companion and assis- 
tant, and exhibited his sculpture for the first time 
at the Salon des Tuileries, Paris. His first show in 
Switzerland, shared with his father, was held at 
the Galerie Aktuaryus in Zurich in 1927. The fol- 
lowing year Giacometti met Andre Masson and by 
1930 he was a participant in the Surrealist circle. 
His first one-man show took place in 1932 at the 
Galerie Pierre Colle in Paris. In 1934 his first 
American solo exhibition opened at the Julien 
Levy Gallery in New York. During the early 1940s 
he became friends with Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre 
and Simone de Beauvoir. From 1942 Giacometti 
lived in Geneva, where he associated with the pub- 
lisher Albert Skira. 

He returned to Paris in 1946. In 1948 he was 
given a one-man show at the Pierre Matisse 
Gallery in New York. The artist's friendship with 
Samuel Beckett began around 1951. In 1955 he 
was honored with major retrospectives at the Arts 
Council Gallery in London and the Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum. He received the Sculpture 
Prize at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh 
in 1961 and the First Prize for Sculpture at the 
Venice Biennale of 1962, where he was given his 
own exhibition area. In 1965 Giacometti exhibi- 
tions were organized by the Tate Gallery in Lon- 
don, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, 
the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, Denmark, 
and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. That 
same year he was awarded the Grand National 
Prize for Art by the French government. Gia- 
cometti died on January 11, 1966, in Chur, Switz- 
erland. 



Albert Gleizes 
1881-1953 



Vincent van Gogh 
1853-1890 



Natalia Goncharova 
1881-1962 



Albert Gleizes was born in Paris on December 8, 
1881. He worked in his father's fabric design stu- 
dio after completing secondary school. While serv- 
ing in the army from 1901 to 1905, Gleizes began 
to paint seriously. He exhibited for the first time 
at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 
1902, and participated in the Salon d'Automne in 
1903 and 1904. 

With several friends, including the writer Rene 
Arcos, Gleizes founded the Abbaye de Creteil out- 
side Paris in 1906. This Utopian community of art- 
ists and writers scorned bourgeois society and 
sought to create a non-allegorical, epic art based on 
modern themes. The Abbaye closed due to finan- 
cial difficulties in 1908. In 1909 and 1910 Gleizes 
met Le Fauconnier, Leger, Robert Delaunay and 
Metzinger. In 1910 he exhibited at the Salon des 
Independants, Paris, and the Jack of Diamonds in 
Moscow; the following year he wrote the first of 
many articles. In collaboration with Metzinger, 
Gleizes wrote Du Cubisme, published in 1912. The 
same year Gleizes helped found the Section d'Or. 
In 1914 Gleizes again saw military service. His 
paintings had become abstract by 1915. Travels to 
New York, Barcelona and Bermuda during the 
next four years influenced his stylistic evolution. 
His first one-man show was held at the Galeries 
Dalmau, Barcelona, in 1916. Beginning in 1918 
Gleizes became deeply involved in a search for 
spiritual values; his religious concerns were reflect- 
ed in his painting and writing. In 1927 he founded 
Moly-Sabata, another Utopian community of art- 
ists and craftsmen, in Sablons. His book, La Forme 
et I'histoire, examines Romanesque, Celtic and 
Oriental art. In the 1930s Gleizes participated in 
the Abstraction-Creation group. Later in his career 
Gleizes executed several large commissions includ- 
ing the murals for the Paris World's Fair of 1937. 
In 1947 a major Gleizes retrospective took place in 
Lyon at the Chapelle du Lycee Ampere. From 
1949 to 1950 Gleizes worked on illustrations for 
Pascal's Pensees. He executed a fresco, Eucharist, 
for the chapel, Les Fontaines, at Chantilly in 1952. 
Gleizes died in Avignon on June 23, 1953. 



Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30, 
1853, in Groot-Zundert, The Netherlands. Start- 
ing in 1869, he worked for a firm of art dealers and 
at various short-lived jobs. By 1877 van Gogh be- 
gan religious studies and from 1878 to 1880 he was 
an evangelist in the Borinage, a poor mining dis- 
trict in Belgium. While working as an evangelist, 
he decided to become an artist. Vincent admired 
Jean Francois Millet and Honore Daumier, and his 
early subjects were primarily peasants depicted in 
dark colors. He lived in Brussels and in various 
parts of the Netherlands before moving to Paris in 
February 1886. 

In Paris he lived with his brother Theo and en- 
countered Impressionist and Post-Impressionist 
painting. Van Gogh worked briefly at Fernand 
Cormon's atelier, where he met Henri de 
Toulouse-Lautrec. The artist also met Bernard, 
Paul Signac, Degas, Pissarro and Gauguin at this 
time. Flowers, portraits and scenes of Montmartre 
as well as a brighter palette replaced his earlier sub- 
ject matter and tonalities. Van Gogh often worked 
in Asnieres with Bernard and Signac in 1887. 
In February of the following year, van Gogh 
moved to Aries, where he painted in isolation, 
depicting the Provencal landscape and people. 
Gauguin joined him in the autumn, and the two 
artists worked together. Vincent suffered his first 
mental breakdown in December of 1888; numer- 
ous seizures and intermittent confinements in 
mental hospitals in Aries, Saint-Remy and Auvers- 
sur-Oise followed from that time until 1890. 
Nevertheless, he continued to paint. In 1890 van 
Gogh was invited to show with Les XX in Brussels, 
where he sold his first painting. That same year he 
was represented at the Salon des Independants in 
Paris. Van Gogh shot himself at Auvers on July 27, 
1890, and died on July 29. 



Natalia Goncharova was born on June 4, 1881, in 
Nechaevo, Russia. In 1898 she entered the School 
of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 
Moscow, where she met Mikhail Larionov, who 
was to become her lifelong companion. Goncharo- 
va participated in an exhibition of Russian artists 
organized by Sergei Diaghilev at the 1906 Salon' 
d'Automne in Paris. Her early work shows the in- 
fluence of Impressionism, Fauvism and Russian 
folk sculpture. 

From 1907 to 1913 she and Mikhail Larionov were 
active in organizing shows in Moscow of new art 
such as the Golden Fleece and Jack of Diamonds, 
which included French as well as Russian artists, 
and the all-Russian Link and Donkey's Tail exhibi- 
tions. From 1909 to 1911 Goncharova concentrat- 
ed on religious paintings that reflect her admira- 
tion of Russian icons. She rejected French art and 
adopted Futurist and Rayonist principles around 
1911. In 1913, the year Larionov's Rayonist 
Manifesto was published, Larionov and Goncharo- 377 
va organized the all-Russian exhibition Target in 
Moscow. Goncharova was represented at the sec- 
ond Blaue Reiter exhibition in Munich in 1912 and 
the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon at Der Sturm in 
Berlin in 1913. Around this time Goncharova and 
Larionov began their collaboration with Diaghilev 
and his Ballets Russes, which lasted until the im- 
presario's death in 1929. In 1917 they settled per- 
manently in Paris, and the following year then- 
work appeared in the exhibition L'Art decoratif 
theatral moderne at the Galerie Sauvage, Paris. 
Goncharova showed extensively during the 1920s 
and 1930s, often with Larionov, in Europe, the 
United States and Japan. Although she never aban- 
doned painting, much of her creative energy was 
directed toward stage decoration and book illustra- 
tion. She designed costumes, settings and drop 
curtains for international presentations of modern 
and classical ballets until she was in her seventies. 
In 1938 Goncharova became a French citizen and 
in 1955 she married Larionov. The following year 
she was given a retrospective at the Galerie de l'ln- 
stitut in Paris. Goncharova died in Paris on Oc- 
tober 17, 1962. 



Juan Gris 
1887-1927 



Vasily Kandinsky 
1866-1944 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 
1880-1938 



Juan Gris was born Jose Victoriano Carmelo 
Carlos Gonzalez-Perez in Madrid on March 23, 
1887. He studied mechanical drawing at the Es- 
cuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid from 
1902 to 1904, during which time he contributed 
drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905 
he studied painting with the academic artist Jose 
Maria Carbonero. In 1906 he moved to Paris, 
where he lived for most of the remainder of his 
life. His friends in Paris included Picasso, Braque, 
Leger and the writers Max Jacob, Guillaume Apol- 
linaire and Maurice Raynal. Although he con- 
tinued to submit humorous illustrations to journals 
such as L'Assiette au Beurre, Le Charivari and Le 
Cri de Paris, Gris began to paint seriously in 1910. 
By 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style. 
He exhibited for the first time in 1912: at the Sa- 
lon des Independants in Paris, the Galeries Dalmau 
in Barcelona, the gallery of Der Sturm in Berlin, 
the Salon de la Societe Normande de Peinture 
Moderne in Rouen and the Salon de la Section 
d'Or in Paris. That same year D.-H. Kahnweiler 
signed Gris to a contract that gave him exclusive 
rights to the artist's work. Gris became a good 
friend of Matisse in 1914 and over the next several 
years formed close relationships with Jacques Lip- 
chitz and Metzinger. After Kahnweiler fled Paris 
at the outbreak of World War I, Gris signed a con- 
tract with Leonce Rosenberg in 1916. His first 
major one-man show was held at Rosenberg's 
Galerie l'Effort Moderne in Paris in 1919. The fol- 
lowing year Kahnweiler returned and once again 
became Gris's dealer. 

In 1922 the painter first designed ballet sets and 
costumes for Sergei Diaghilev. Gris articulated 
most of his aesthetic theories during 1924 and 
1925. He delivered his definitive lecture, "Des 
Possibilites de la peinture," at the Sorbonne in 
1924. Major Gris exhibitions took place at the 
Galerie Simon in Paris and the Galerie Flechtheim 
ill Berlin in 1923 and at the Galerie Flechtheim in 
Diisseldorf in 1925. As his health declined, Gris 
made frequent visits to the south of France. Gris 
died in Boulogne-sur-Seine on May 11, 1927, at 
age forty. 



Vasily Kandinsky was born on December 4, 1866, 
in Moscow. From 1886 to 1892 he studied law and 
economics at the University of Moscow, where he 
lectured after his graduation. In 1896 he declined 
a teaching position at the University of Dorpat in 
order to study art in Munich with Anton Azbe 
from 1897 to 1899 and at the Akademie with 
Franz von Stuck in 1900. From 1901 to 1903 Kan- 
dinsky taught at the art school of the Phalanx, a 
group he had cofounded in Munich. One of his 
students was Gabriele Miinter, who remained his 
companion until 1914. In 1902 Kandinsky exhibit- 
ed for the first time with the Berlin Secession and 
produced his first woodcuts. In 1903-04 he began 
his travels in Italy, the Netherlands and North 
Africa and visits to Russia. He showed frequently 
at the Salon d'Automne in Paris from 1904. 
In 1909 Kandinsky was elected president of the 
newly founded Neue Kiinstlervereinigung Miinchen 
(NKVM). Their first show took place at the 
Moderne Galerie (Thannhauser) in Munich in 
1909. In 1911 Kandinsky and Marc withdrew 
from the NKVM and began to make plans for the 
Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) Almanac. The group's 
first exhibition was held in December of that year 
at the Moderne Galerie. He published liber das 
Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art) in 
1911. In 1912 the second Blaue Reiter show was 
held at the Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, and the 
Almanack der Blaue Reiter appeared. Kandinsky's 
first one-man show was held at the gallery of Der 
Sturm in Berlin in 1912. In 1913 his works were 
included in the Armory Show in New York and 
the Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon in Berlin. Except 
for visits to Scandinavia, Kandinsky lived in Rus- 
sia from 1914 to 1921, principally in Moscow 
where he held a position at the People's Commis- 
sariat of Education. 

Kandinsky began teaching at the Bauhaus in Wei- 
mar in 1922. In 1923 he was given his first one- 
man show in New York by the Societe Anonyme, 
of which he became vice-president. With Klee, 
Lyonel Feininger and Alexej Jawlensky he was part 
of the Blaue Vier (Blue Four) group, formed in 
1924. He moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 
1925 and became a German citizen in 1928. The 
Nazi government closed the Bauhaus in 1933 and 
later that year Kandinsky settled in Neuilly-sur- 
Seine near Paris; he acquired French citizenship in 
1939. Fifty-seven of his works were confiscated by 
the Nazis in the 1937 purge of Entartete Kunst (de- 
generate art). Kandinsky died on December 13, 
1944, in Neuilly. 



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born on May 6, 1880, 
in Aschaffenburg, Germany. After years of travel 
his family settled in Chemnitz in 1890. From 1901 
to 1905 he studied architecture at the Dresden 
Technische Hochschule and pictorial art in 
Munich at the Kunsthochschule and an ex- 
perimental art school established by Wilhelm von 
Debschitz and Hermann Obrist. While in Munich 
he produced his first woodcuts; the graphic arts 
were to become as important to him as painting. 
At this time he was drawn to Neo-Impressionism 
as well as to the old masters. 
In 1905 the Brucke (Bridge) was founded in Dres- 
den by Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Karl Schmidt- 
Rottluff and Erich Heckel; the group was later 
joined by Cuno Amiet, Max Pechstein, Emil 
Nolde and Otto Miiller. From 1905 to 1910 Dres- 
den hosted exhibitions of Post-Impressionists, in- 
cluding van Gogh, as well as shows of Edvard 
Munch, Gustav Klimt and the Fauves, which deep- 
ly impressed Kirchner. Other important influences 
were Japanese prints, the Ajanta wall paintings and 
African and Oceanic art. Kirchner moved to Ber- 
lin with the Brucke group in 1911. The following 
year Marc included works by Brucke artists in the 
second show of the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) in 
Munich, thus providing a link between the two 
groups. In 1913 Kirchner exhibited in the Armory 
Show in New York, Chicago and Boston, and was 
given his first one-man shows in Germany, at the 
Folkwang Museum of Hagen and the Galerie 
Gurlitt in Berlin. This year also marked the disso- 
lution of the Brucke. 

During World War I Kirchner was discharged 
from the army because of a nervous and physical 
collapse. He was treated at Dr. Kohnstamm's 
sanatorium in Konigstein near Frankfurt, where he 
completed five wall frescoes in 1916. The artist 
was severely injured when struck by an automobile 
in 1917; the next year, during his long period of 
recuperation, he settled in Frauenkirch near Da- 
vos, Switzerland, where he hoped to form a 
progressive artistic community. Although his plans 
did not materialize, many young artists, particular- 
ly those of the Basel-based Rot-Blau group, sought 
him out during the 1920s for guidance. One-man 
shows of Kirchner's work were held throughout 
the 1930s in Munich, Bern, Hamburg, Basel, 
Detroit and New York. However, physical deteri- 
oration and mental anxiety overtook him again in 
the middle of the decade. His inclusion in the 
1937 Nazi-sponsored show of Entartete Kunst (de- 
generate art) in Munich caused him further dis- 
tress. Kirchner died bv his own hand on June 15, 
1938. 



Paul Klee 
1879-1940 



Oskar Kokoschka 
1886-1980 



Frantisek Kupka 
1871-1957 



Paul Klee was born on December 18, 1879, in 
Miinchenbuchsee, Switzerland, into a family of 
musicians. His childhood love of music was always 
to remain profoundly important in his life and 
work. From 1898 to 1901 Klee studied in Munich, 
first with Heinrich Knirr, then at the Akademie 
under von Stuck. Upon completing his schooling, 
he traveled to Italy: this was the first in a series of 
trips abroad that nourished his visual sensibilities. 
He settled in Bern in 1902. A series of his satirical 
etchings was exhibited at the Munich Secession in 
1906. That same year Klee married and moved to 
Munich. Here he gained exposure to modern art: 
he saw the work of James Ensor, Cezanne, van 
Gogh and Matisse. Klee's work was shown at the 
Kunstmuseum Bern in 1910 and at Heinrich 
Thannhauser's Moderne Galerie in Munich in 
1911. In 1911 he began to keep a record of his 
work in his Ceuvre Catalogue, with listings from as 
early as 1884. 

Klee met Kandinsky, August Macke, Marc, 
Jawlensky and other avant-garde figures in 1911; 
he participated in important shows of advanced 
art, including the second Blaue Reiter {Blue Rider) 
exhibition, 1912, and the Enter Deutscher Herbst- 
salon, 1913. In 1912 he visited Paris for the second 
time, where he saw the work of Picasso and Braque 
and met Robert Delaunay, whose essay "On 
Light" he translated. Klee helped found the Neue 
Miincbner Secession in 1914. Color became central 
to his art only after a revelatory trip to North Afri- 
ca in 1914. 

In 1920 a major Klee retrospective was held at the 
Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, his Schopferische 
Konfession {Creative Credo) was published and he 
was appointed to the faculty of the Bauhaus. Klee 
taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar from 1921 to 
1926 and in Dessau from 1926 to 1931. During his 
tenure he was in close contact with other Bauhaus 
masters such as Kandinsky, Feininger and Moholy- 
Nagy. In 1924 the Blaue Vier {Blue Four), consist- 
ing of Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger and Jawlensky, 
was founded. Among his notable exhibitions of 
this period were his first in the United States at 
the Societe Anonyme, New York, 1924; his first 
major show in Paris the following year at the 
Galerie Vavin-Raspail; and an exhibition at The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1930. Klee 
went to Dusseldorf to teach at the Akademie in 
1931, shortly before the Nazis closed the Bauhaus. 
Forced to leave his position in Dusseldorf by the 
Nazis in 1933, Klee settled in Bern. Major Klee 
exhibitions took place in Bern and Basel in 1935 
and in Zurich in 1940. Klee died on June 29, 1940, 
in Muralto-Locarno, Switzerland. 



Oskar Kokoschka was born on March 1, 1886, in 
the Austrian town of Pochlarn. He spent most of 
his youth in Vienna, where he entered the Kunst- 
gewerbeschule in 1904 or 1905. While still a stu- 
dent he painted fans and postcards for the Wiener 
Werkstatte, which published his first book of 
poetry in 1908. That same year Kokoschka was 
fiercely criticized for the works he exhibited in the 
Vienna Kunstschau and consequently was dis- 
missed from the Kunstgewerbeschule. At this time 
he attracted the attention of the architect Adolf 
Loos, who became his most vigorous supporter. In 
this early period Kokoschka wrote plays that are 
considered among the first examples of expres- 
sionist drama. 

His first one-man show was held at Paul Cassirer's 
gallery in Berlin in 1910, followed later that year 
by another at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. In 
1910 he also began to contribute to Herwarth 
Walden's periodical Der Sturm. Kokoschka con- 
centrated on portraiture, dividing his time be- 
tween Berlin and Vienna from 1910 to 1914. In 
1915, shortly after the outbreak of World War I, 
he volunteered to serve on the eastern front, 
where he was seriously wounded. Still recuperating 
in 1917, he settled in Dresden and in 1919 accept- 
ed professorship at the Akademie there. In 1918 
Paul Westheim's comprehensive monograph on 
the artist was published. 

Kokoschka traveled extensively during the 1920s 
and 1930s in Europe, North Africa and the Middle 
East. In 1931 he returned to Vienna but, as a 
result of the Nazis' growing power, he moved to 
Prague in 1935. He acquired Czechoslovak citizen- 
ship two years later. Kokoschka painted a portrait 
of Czechoslovakia's president Thomas Garrigue 
Masaryk in 1936, and the two became friends. In 
1937 the Nazis condemned his work as "degener- 
ate art" and removed it from public view. The art- 
ist fled to England in 1938, the year of his first 
one-man show in the United States at the Buch- 
holz Gallery in New York. In 1947 he became a 
British national. Two important traveling shows of 
Kokoschka's work originated in Boston and 
Munich in 1948 and 1950 respectively. In 1953 he 
settled in Villeneuve, near Geneva, and began 
teaching at the Internationale Sommer Akademie 
fur bildende Kunst, where he initiated his Schule 
des Sehens. Kokoschka's collected writings were 
published in 1956, and around this time he became 
involved in stage design. In 1962 he was honored 
with a retrospective at the Tate Gallery in Lon- 
don. Kokoschka died on February 22, 1980, in 
Montreux, Switzerland. 



Frantisek Kupka was born on September 22, 1871, 
in Opocno in eastern Bohemia. From 1889 to 1892 
he studied at the Prague Academy. At this time he 
painted historical and patriotic themes. In 1892 
Kupka enrolled at the Akademie der bildenden 
Kiinste in Vienna where he concentrated on sym- 
bolic and allegorical subjects. He exhibited at the 
Kunstverein, Vienna, in 1894. His involvement 
with theosophy and Eastern philosophy dates from 
this period. By spring 1896 Kupka had settled in 
Paris; there he attended the Academie Julien brief- 
ly and then studied with J. P. Laurens at the Ecole 
des Beaux-Arts. 

Kupka worked as an illustrator of books and 
posters and, during his early years in Paris, became 
known for satirical drawings for newspapers and 
magazines. In 1906 he settled in Puteaux, a suburb 
of Paris, and that same year exhibited for the first 
time at the Salon d'Automne. Kupka was deeply 
impressed by the first Futurist Manifesto, pub- 
lished in 1909 in Le Figaro. Kupka' s work became 
increasingly abstract around 1910-11, reflecting 
his theories of motion, color and the relationship 
between music and painting. In 1911 he participat- 
ed in meetings of the Puteaux group, which includ- 
ed his neighbors Villon and Duchamp-Villon as 
well as Duchamp, Gleizes, Metzinger, Picabia, 
Leger, Guillaume Apollinaire and others. In 1912 
he exhibited at the Salon des Independants in the 
Cubist room, although he did not wish to be iden- 
tified with any movement. Later that same year at 
the Salon d'Automne his paintings caused critical 
indignation. 

La Creation dans les arts plastiques (Creation in the 
Visual Arts), a book Kupka completed in 1913, was 
published in Prague in 1923. In 1921 his first one- 
man show in Paris was held at Galerie Povolozky. 
In 1931 he was a founding member of Abstraction- 
Creation together with van Doesburg, Auguste 
Herbin, Vantongerloo, Jean Helion, Arp and 
Gleizes; in 1936 his work was included in the exhi- 
bition Cubism and Abstract Art at The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, and in an important two- 
men show with Alphonse Mucha at the Jeu de 
Paume, Paris. A major retrospective of his work 
took place at the Galerie S.V.U. Manes in Prague 
in 1946. The same year Kupka participated in the 
Salon des Realites Nouvelles, Paris, where he con- 
tinued to exhibit regularly until his death. During 
the early 1950s he gained general recognition and 
had several one-man shows in New York. Kupka 
died in Puteaux on June 24, 1957. Important Kup- 
ka retrospectives were held at the Musee National 
d'Art Moderne, Paris, in 1958 and the Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1975. 



Fernand Leger 
1881-1955 



El Lissitzky 
1890-1941 



Rene Magritte 
1898-1967 



Jules Fernand Henri Leger was born on February 
4, 1881, at Argentan in Normandy. After appren- 
ticing with an architect in Caen from 1897 to 
1899, Leger settled in Paris in 1900 and supported 
himself as an architectural draftsman. He was re- 
fused entrance to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, but 
nevertheless attended classes there; he also studied 
at the Academie Julien. Leger's earliest known 
works, which date from 1905, were primarily in- 
fluenced by Impressionism. The experience of see- 
ing the Cezanne retrospective at the Salon d'Au- 
tomne in 1907 and his contact with the early 
Cubism of Picasso and Braque had an extremely 
significant impact on the development of his per- 
sonal style. In 1910 he exhibited with Braque and 
Picasso at D.-H. Kahnweiler's gallery, where he 
was given a one-man show in 1912. From 1911 to 
1914 Leger's work became increasingly abstract, 
and he started to limit his color to the primaries 
and black and white at this time. 
Leger served in the military from 1914 to 1917. 
*°0 His "mechanical" period, in which figures and ob- 
jects are characterized by tubular, machinelike 
forms, began in 1917. During the early 1920s he 
collaborated with the writer Blaise Cendrars on 
films and designed sets and costumes for Rolf de 
Mare's Ballet Suedois; in 1923-24 he made his first 
film without a plot, Ballet mecanique. Leger 
opened an atelier with Amedee Ozenfant in 1924 
and in 1925, at the Exposition Internationale des 
Arts Decorati/s, presented his first murals at Le 
Corbusier's Pavilion de L'Esprit Nouveau. In 
1931 he visited the United States for the first 
time; in 1935 The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, and The Art Institute of Chicago presented 
exhibitions of his work. Leger lived in the United 
States from 1940 to 1945 but returned to France 
after the war. In the decade before his death 
Leger's wide-ranging projects included book illus- 
trations, monumental figure paintings and murals, 
stained-glass windows, mosaics, polychrome ce- 
ramic sculptures and set and costume designs. In 
1955 he won the Grand Prize at the Sao Paulo 
Bienal. Leger died on August 17, 1955, at his 
home at Gif-sur-Yvette, France. The Musee Na- 
tional Fernand Leger was founded in 1957 in Biot. 



El Lissitzky was born Lazar Markovich Lisitskii on 
November 23, 1890, in Pochinok, in the Russian 
province of Smolensk, and grew up in Vitebsk. He 
pursued architectural studies at the Technische 
Hochschule in Darmstadt from 1909 to 1914, 
when the outbreak of World War I precipitated 
his return to Russia. In 1916 he received a diploma 
in engineering and architecture from the Riga 
Technological University. 

Lissitzky and Malevich were invited by Chagall to 
join the faculty of the Vitebsk Art Institute in 
1919; there Lissitzky taught architecture and 
graphics. That same year he executed his first 
Proun (acronym in Russian for "project for the af- 
firmation of the new") and formed part of the 
Unovis group. In 1920 he became a member of 
Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic Culture) in Moscow 
and designed his book Pro dva kvadrata {About 
Two Squares). The following year he taught at 
Vkhutemas (Higher State Art-Technical Studios) 
with Tatlin and joined the Constructivist group. 
The Constructivists exhibited at the Erste russische 
Kunstausstellung designed by Lissitzky at the 
Galerie van Diemen in Berlin in 1922. During this 
period he collaborated with Ilya Ehrenburg on the 
journal Vesbch/Gegenstand/Objet. 
In 1923 the artist experimented with new typo- 
graphic design for a book by Vladimir Mayakovsky, 
Dlya golosa (For the Voice), and visited Hanover 
where his work was shown under the auspices of 
the Kestner-Gesellschaft. Also in 1923 Lissitzky 
created his Proun environment for the Grosse Ber- 
liner Kunstausstellung and executed his lithographic 
suites Proun and Victory over the Sun (illustrating 
the opera by Alexei Kruchenykh and Mikhail 
Matiushin), before traveling to Switzerland for 
medical treatment. In 1924 he worked with 
Schwitters on the issue of the periodical Men 
called "Nasci," and with Arp on the book Die Kunst- 
ismen {The Isms of Art). The next year he returned 
to Moscow to teach at Vkhutemas- Vkhutein (Higher 
State Art-Technical Studios-Higher State Art- 
Technical Institute), which he continued to do un- 
til 1930. During the mid-1920s Lissitzky stopped 
painting in order to concentrate on the design of 
typography and exhibitions. He created a room for 
the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Dresden in 
1926 (which included works by Mondrian, Leger, 
Picabia, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Naum Gabo) 
and another at the Niedersachisches Landesmuse- 
um in Hannover in 1927. He also designed the 
Soviet Pavilion at the exhibition Pressa in Cologne 
in 1928. His essay "Russland: Architektur fur eine 
Weltrevolution" was published in 1930. Lissitzky 
died on December 30, 1941, in Moscow. 



Rene Francois Ghislain Magritte was born on 
November 21, 1898, in Lessines, Belgium. He 
studied intermittently between 1916 and 1918 at 
the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. 
Magritte first exhibited at the Centre d'Art in 
Brussels in 1920. After completing military service 
in 1921, he worked briefly as a designer in a wall- 
paper factory. In 1923 he participated with Lis- 
sitzky, Moholy-Nagy, Feininger and the Belgian 
Paul Joostens in an exhibition at the Cercle Royal 
Artistique in Antwerp. In 1924 he collaborated 
with E.L.T. Mesens on the review Ctsophage. 
In 1927 Magritte was given his first solo exhibi- 
tion at the Galerie Le Centaure in Brussels. Later 
that year the artist left Brussels to establish him- 
self in Le Perreux-sur-Marne, near Paris, where he 
frequented the Surrealist circle, which included 
Paul Eluard, Andre Breton, Arp, Miro and Dali. 
In 1928 Magritte took part in the Exposition Sur- 
realiste at the Galerie Goemans in Paris. He 
returned to Belgium in 1930, and three years later 
was given a one-man show at the Palais des Beaux- 
Arts in Brussels. Magritte's first solo exhibition in 
the United States took place at the Julien Levy 
Gallery in New York in 1936, and the first in En- 
gland at the London Gallery in London in 1938; he 
was represented as well in the 1936 Fantastic Art, 
Dada, Surrealism exhibition at The Museum of 
Modern Art in New York. 

Throughout the 1940s Magritte showed frequently 
at the Galerie Dietrich in Brussels. During the fol- 
lowing two decades he executed various mural 
commissions in Belgium. From 1953 he exhibited 
frequently at the galleries of Alexander Iolas in 
New York, Paris and Geneva. Magritte retrospec- 
tives were held in 1954 at the Palais des Beaux- 
Arts in Brussels and in 1960 at the Museum for 
Contemporary Arts, Dallas, and The Museum of 
Fine Arts in Houston. On the occasion of his 
retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in 
New York in 1965, Magritte traveled to the United 
States for the first time, and the following year he 
visited Israel. Magritte died on August 15, 1967, 
in Brussels, shortly after the opening of a major ex- 
hibition of his work at the Museum Boymans-van 
Beuningen in Rotterdam. 



Aristide Maillol 
1861-1944 



Kazimir Malevich 
1878-1935 



Edouard Manet 
1832-1883 



Aristide-Jean-Bonaventure Maillol was born on 
December 9, 1861, in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. 
He went to Paris in 1882 to study painting and in 
1885 was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 
where he studied with Jean Leon Gerome and 
Alexandre Cabanel. He became dissatisfied with 
his academic training in 1889, partly due to his dis- 
covery of Gauguin's paintings, pottery and wood 
carving. During the 1890s he concentrated on 
making tapestries, ceramics and decorative wood 
carvings, in response to the arts and crafts move- 
ment popular in France at the time. In 1896 he 
showed small carved figures for the first time, at 
the Salon of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts. 
Maillol became friends with Maurice Denis, Paul 
Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and the rest of the Na- 
bis during the mid-1890s. In 1895 he married 
Clotilde Narcisse, who became the model for many 
of his sculptures. 

By 1900 deteriorating eyesight forced him to give 
up tapestry and concentrate on sculpture. Maillol's 
first one-man exhibition was held at the Galerie 
Vollard in Paris in 1902. In 1905 his first 
monumental sculpture, The Mediterranean, was 
shown at the Salon d'Automne, Paris, prompting 
the German Count Harry Kessler to commission a 
version in stone. That same year Maillol was com- 
missioned to execute Action in Chains, a memorial 
to Louis-Auguste Blanqui, for the town of Puget- 
Theniers. In 1907 he completed the relief, Desire, 
and a statue, the Young Cyclist, for his patron 
Kessler. The following year Kessler invited Maillol 
to Greece and asked him to make woodcut illustra- 
tions for Virgil's Eclogues. 

In 1910 Maillol began a monument to Cezanne 
that was finally installed in the Tuileries Gardens 
of Paris in 1929. From 1919 to 1923 he worked on 
two war memorials for the towns of Ceret and 
Port-Vendres. His first one-man show in the Unit- 
ed States took place at the Albright Art Gallery in 
Buffalo in 1925. In 1930 he received a commission 
for a war memorial from the town of Banyuls and 
another for a monument to Debussy in Saint- 
Germain-en-Laye. Major Maillol retrospectives 
were held at the Galerie Flechtheim, Berlin, in 
1928, and the Kunsthalle Basel in 1933. In 1938 
he began his last monument commissions, a 
memorial to aviators entitled Air, for the city of 
Toulouse, and River, in memory of Henri Bar- 
busse. Maillol died on September 27, 1944, in 
Banyuls. 



Kazimir Severinovich Malevich was born on 
February 26, 1878, near Kiev, Russia. He studied 
at the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture and 
Architecture in 1903. During the early years of his 
career he experimented with various modernist 
styles and participated in avant-garde exhibitions, 
such as those of the Moscow Artists' Association, 
which included Kandinsky and Larionov, and the 
Jack of Diamonds of 1910 in Moscow. Malevich 
showed his Neo-Primitivist paintings of peasants 
at the exhibition Donkey's Tail in 1912. After this 
exhibition he broke with Larionov's group. In 
1913, with composer Mikhail Matiushin and writer 
Alexei Kruchenykh, he drafted a manifesto for the 
First Futurist Congress. That same year Malevich 
designed the sets and costumes for the opera Victo- 
ry over the Sun by Matiushin and Kruchenykh. He 
showed at the Salon des Independants in Paris 
in 1914. 

At the 0.10 Last Futurist Exhibition in Petrograd in 
1915 Malevich introduced his non-objective, geo- 
metric Suprematist paintings. In 1919 he began to 
explore the three-dimensional applications of 
Suprematism in architectural models. Following 
the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Malevich and 
other advanced artists were encouraged by the 
Soviet government and attained prominent ad- 
ministrative and teaching positions in the arts. At 
the invitation of Chagall, Malevich began teaching 
at the Vitebsk Art Institute in 1919; he soon be- 
came its director. In 1919-20 he was given a one- 
man show at the Sixteenth State Exhibition in 
Moscow, which focused on Suprematism and other 
non-objective styles. Malevich and his students at 
Vitebsk formed the Suprematist group Unovis. 
From 1922 to 1927 he taught at the Institute of 
Artistic Culture in Petrograd and between 1924 
and 1926 he worked primarily on architectural 
models with his students. 

In 1927 Malevich traveled with an exhibition of 
his paintings to Warsaw and also went to Berlin, 
where his work was shown at the Crosse Berliner 
Kunstausstellung. In Germany he met Arp, Kurt 
Schwitters, Gabo and Le Corbusier and visited the 
Bauhaus where he met Walter Gropius. The 
Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow gave Malevich a one- 
man exhibition in 1929. Because of his connec- 
tions with German artists, he was arrested in 1930 
and many of his manuscripts were destroyed. In 
his final period he painted in a representational 
style. Malevich died in Leningrad on May 15, 
1935. 



Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832, in 
Paris. While studying with Thomas Couture from 
1850 to 1856, he drew at the Academie Suisse and 
copied the old masters at the Louvre. After he left 
Couture's studio, Manet traveled extensively in 
Europe, visiting Belgium, The Netherlands, Ger- 
many, Austria, and Italy. In 1859 he was rejected 
by the official Paris Salon, although Delacroix in- 
tervened on his behalf. In 1861 Manet's paintings 
were accepted by the Salon and received favorable 
comments in the press, and he began exhibiting at 
the Galerie Martinet in Paris. During the early 
1860s his friendships with Charles Baudelaire and 
Degas began. The three paintings Manet sent to 
the Salon of 1863, including Le Dejeuner sur 
I'herbe, were relegated to the Salon des Refuses, 
where they attracted the attention of the critic 
Theophile Thore. 

In 1865 Manet's Olympia and Christ Mocked were 
greeted with great hostility when shown at the Sa- 
lon. That year the painter traveled to Spain, where 
he met Theodore Duret. He became a friend of 
Emile Zola in 1866, when the writer defended him 
in a controversial article for the periodical 
L'Evenement. In 1867 Zola published a longer arti- 
cle on Manet, who that year exhibited his work in 
an independent pavilion at the Paris World's Fair. 
The artist spent the first of several summers at 
Boulogne at this time. In 1868 two of his works 
were accepted by the Salon but were not shown to 
advantage. 

The dealer Paul Durand-Ruel began buying his 
work in 1872. That same year The Battle of the 
Kearsarge and the Alabama was shown at the Salon, 
and Manet traveled to The Netherlands for the sec- 
ond time. The poet Stephane Mallarme, who met 
the artist in 1873, wrote articles about him in 1874 
and 1876 and remained a close lifelong friend. 
Manet declined to show with the Impressionists in 
their first exhibition in 1874. That summer he 
worked at Gennevilliers and Argenteuil with Mo- 
net and the following year he visited Venice. In 
1876 at his own studio he exhibited the Olympia 
and two paintings rejected that year by the Salon. 
From 1879 to 1882 Manet participated annually at 
the Salon. He was given a one-man exhibition at 
Georges Charpentier's new gallery La Vie 
Moderne in Paris in 1880. The following year 
Manet, then ailing, was decorated by the Legion 
d'Honneur. He died in Paris on April 30, 1883; a 
memorial exhibition of his work took place at the 
Ecole des Beaux- Arts the following year. 



Franz Marc 
1880-1916 



Louis Marcoussis 
1878-1941 



Henri Matisse 
1869-1954 



382 



Franz Marc was born on February 8, 1880, in 
Munich. The son of a landscape painter, he decid- 
ed to become an artist after a year of military serv- 
ice interrupted his plans to study philology. From 
1900 to 1902 he studied at the Akademie in 
Munich with Gabriel von Hackl and Wilhelm von 
Diez. The following year, during a visit to France, 
he was introduced to Japanese woodcuts and the 
work of the Impressionists in Paris. 
Marc suffered from severe depressions from 1904 
to 1907, the year his father died. In 1907 Marc 
went again to Paris, where he responded en- 
thusiastically to the work of van Gogh, Gauguin, 
the Cubists and the Expressionists; later he was 
impressed by the Matisse exhibition in Munich in 
1910. During this period he received steady in- 
come from the animal anatomy lessons he gave to 
artists. 

In 1910 his first one-man show was held at the 
Kunsthandlung Brack! in Munich, and Marc met 
August Macke and the collector Bernhard Koeh- 
ler. He publicly defended the Neue Kiinstler- 
vereinigung Miinchen (NKVM), and was formally 
welcomed into the group early in 1911, when he 
met Kandinsky. After internal dissension split the 
NKVM, he and Kandinsky formed the Blaue Reiter 
(Blue Rider), whose first exhibition took place in 
December 1911 at the Moderne Galerie (Thann- 
hauser) in Munich. Marc invited members of the 
Berlin Briicke group to participate in the second 
Blaue Reiter show two months later at the Galerie 
Hans Goltz in Munich. The Almanack der Blaue 
Reiter was published with lead articles by Marc in 
May 1912. When World War I broke out in Au- 
gust 1914, Marc immediately enlisted. He was 
deeply troubled by Macke's death in action shortly 
thereafter; during the war he produced his Sketch- 
book from the Field. Marc died at Verdun on 
March 4, 1916. 



Louis Marcoussis was born Ludwig Casimir Ladis- 
las Markus in Warsaw, on November 14, 1878. In 
1901 he entered the Academy of Fine Arts of 
Cracow to study painting with Jan Grzegorz 
Stanislawski. In 1903 he moved to Paris, where he 
worked briefly under Jules Lefebvre at the 
Academie Julien and became a friend of Roger de La 
Fresnaye and Robert Lotiron. He exhibited for the 
first time at the Salon d'Automne in 1905 and at 
the Salon des Independants in 1906, and was often 
represented in both salons in subsequent years. 
In Paris he made his living by selling caricatures to 
satirical periodicals, including La Vie parisienne 
and Le journal. He frequented the cafes, such as 
the Rotonde, Cirque Medrano and the Ermitage, 
where he met Degas about 1906 and Braque, 
Picasso and Apollinaire in 1910. In 1907 Markus 
abandoned painting; when he began to paint again 
in 1910, he discarded his earlier Impressionist 
style to adopt the new Cubist idiom. About 1911, 
at the suggestion of Apollinaire, he began calling 
himself Marcoussis, the name of a village near 
Monthery. In 1912 the artist participated in the 
Salon de la Section d'Or at the Galerie de la Boetie 
in Paris. By this time his circle included Gris, 
Leger, Picabia, Metzinger and Max Jacob. He 
served in the army from 1914 to 1919, returning 
to Poland for a visit after his demobilization. 
Marcoussis exhibited in 1921 at the gallery of Der 
Sturm in Berlin with Gleizes, Villon and others. 
He was given his first one-man show at Galerie 
Pierre, Paris, in 1925. This was followed by solo 
exhibitions in 1928 at the Galerie Le Centaure in 
Brussels, a city he visited on that occasion, and at 
the Galerie Georges Bernheim in Paris in 1929. In 
1930 the artist made the first of many trips to En- 
gland and met Helena Rubinstein, who became his 
supporter. In 1934-35 he stayed for several 
months in the United States, where one-man 
shows of his prints opened at The Arts Club of 
Chicago in 1934 and M. Knoedler and Co. in New 
York in 1935. Marcoussis worked almost exclu- 
sively in graphics from 1930 to 1937; a retrospec- 
tive of his prints took place at the Palais des 
Beaux-Arts in Brussels in 1936. The artist traveled 
to England and Italy in 1938, and during the fol- 
lowing year was given a solo exhibition at the Lon- 
don Gallery in London. In 1940, as the German 
army advanced, Marcoussis left Paris for Cusset, 
near Vichy, where he died on October 22, 1941. 



Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was born on Decem- 
ber 31, 1869, in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France. He 
grew up at Bohain-en-Vermandois and studied law 
in Paris from 1887 to 1889. By 1891 he had aban- 
doned law and started to paint. In Paris Matisse 
studied art briefly at the Academie Julien and then 
at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Gustave Moreau. 
In 1901 Matisse exhibited at the Salon des In- 
dependants in Paris and met the other future lead- 
ers of the Fauve movement, Maurice de Vlaminck 
and Derain. His first one-man show took place at 
the Galerie Vollard in 1904. Both Leo and Ger- 
trude Stein as well as Etta and Claribel Cone be- 
gan to collect Matisse's work at this time. Like 
many avant-garde artists in Paris, Matisse was 
receptive to a broad range of influences: he was 
one of the first painters to take an interest in 
Primitive art. Matisse abandoned the palette of 
the Impressionists and established his characteris- 
tic style with its flat, brilliant color and fluid line. 
His subjects were mainly women, interiors and still 
lifes. In 1913 his work was included in the Armory 
Show in New York. By 1923 two Russians, Sergei 
Shchukin and Ivan Morosov, had purchased nearly 
fifty of his paintings. 

From the early 1920s until 1939 Matisse divided 
his time primarily between the south of France and 
Paris. During this period he worked on painting, 
sculpture, lithographs and etchings as well as on 
murals for The Barnes Foundation in Pennsylva- 
nia, designs for tapestries, and set and costume de- 
signs for Leonide Massine's ballet, Rouge et noir 
[Red and Black). While recuperating from two 
major operations in 1941 and 1942, Matisse con- 
centrated on a technique he had devised earlier, 
papiers decoupes (paper cutouts). Jazz, written and 
illustrated by Matisse, was published in 1947. The 
plates are stencil reproductions of paper cutouts. 
In 1948 he began the design and decoration of the 
Chapelle du Rosaire at Vence, which was complet- 
ed and consecrated in 1951. Matisse continued to 
make his large paper cutouts, the last of which was 
a design for the rose window at Union Church of 
Pocantico Hills, New York. He died in Nice on 
November 3, 1954. 



Joan Miro 
1893-1983 



Amedeo Modigliani 
1884-1920 



Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 
1895-1946 



Joan Miro Ferra was born in Barcelona on April 
20, 1893. At the age of fourteen he went to busi- 
ness school in Barcelona and also attended La Lon- 
ja, the academy of fine arts in the same city. Upon 
completing three years of art studies he took a po- 
sition as a clerk. After suffering a nervous break- 
down he abandoned business and resumed his art 
studies, attending Francesc Gall's Escola d'Art in 
Barcelona from 1912 to 1915. Miro received early 
encouragement from the dealer Jose Dalmau, who 
gave him his first one-man show at his gallery in 
Barcelona in 1918. In 1917 he met Picabia. 
In 1919 Miro made his first trip to Paris, where he 
met Picasso. From 1920 Miro divided his time be- 
tween Paris and Montroig. In Paris he associated 
with the poets Pierre Reverdy, Tristan Tzara and 
Max Jacob and participated in Dada activities. 
Dalmau organized Miro's first one-man show in 
Paris, at the Galerie La Licorne in 1921. His work 
was included in the Salon d'Automne of 1923. In 
1924 Miro joined the Surrealist group. His one- 
man show at the Galerie Pierre in Paris in 1925 
was a major Surrealist event; Miro was included in 
the first Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Pierre 
that same year. He visited the Netherlands in 
1928 and began a series of paintings inspired by 
Dutch Masters. This year he also executed his first 
papiers colles (pasted papers) and collages. In 1929 
he started his experiments in lithography, and his 
first etchings date from 1933. During the early 
1930s he made Surrealist sculpture-objects incor- 
porating painted stones and found objects. In 1936 
Miro left Spain because of the Civil War; he 
returned in 1941. 

An important Miro retrospective was held at The 
Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941. 
This year Miro began working in ceramics with 
Josep Llorens i Artigas and started to concentrate 
on prints; from 1954 to 1958 he worked almost ex- 
clusively in these two media. In 1958 Miro was 
given a Guggenheim International Award for 
murals for the UNESCO Building in Paris; the fol- 
lowing year he resumed painting, initiating a series 
of mural-sized canvases. During the 1960s he be- 
gan to work intensively in sculpture. In 1965 he 
again collaborated with Artigas, on the ceramic tile 
mural Alicia commissioned by Harry F. Guggen- 
heim in memory of his late wife, Alicia Patterson 
Guggenheim; Miro designed the work for a specif- 
ic wall of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 
New York. A major Miro retrospective took place 
at the Grand Palais in Paris in 1974. In 1978 the 
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges 
Pompidou, Paris, exhibited over five hundred 
works in a major retrospective of his drawings. 
Miro died on December 25, 1983, in Palma de 
Mallorca, Spain. 



Amedeo Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884, in 
Leghorn, Italy. The serious illnesses he suffered 
during his childhood persisted throughout his life. 
At age fourteen he began to study painting. He 
first experimented with sculpture during the sum- 
mer of 1902 and the following year attended the 
Istituto di Belle Arti in Venice. Early in 1906 
Modigliani went to Paris where he settled in 
Montmartre and attended the Academie Colarossi. 
His early work was influenced by Henri de 
Toulouse-Lautrec, Theophile Alexandre Steilen, 
Gauguin and Cezanne. In the autumn of 1907 he 
met his first patron, Dr. Paul Alexandre, who pur- 
chased works from him before World War I. 
Modigliani exhibited in the Salon d'Automne in 
1907 and 1912 and in the Salon des Independants 
in 1908, 1910 and 1911. 

In 1909 Modigliani met Brancusi when both art- 
ists lived in Montparnasse. From 1909 to 1915 the 
Italian concentrated on sculpture but he also drew 
and painted to a certain extent. However, the 
majority of his paintings date from 1916 to 1919. 
Modigliani's circle of friends first consisted of 
Max Jacob, Lipchitz and the Portuguese sculptor 
Amedeo de Suza Cardoso and later included 
Chaim Soutine, Maurice Utrillo, Jules Pascin, 
Foujita, Mo'ise Kisling and the Sitwells. His deal- 
ers were Paul Guillaume (1914 to 1916) and 
Leopold Zborowski (by 1917). The only one-man 
show given the artist during his lifetime took place 
at the Galerie Berthe Weill in December 1917. 
In March 1917 Modigliani met Jeanne Hebuterne 
who became his companion and model. From 
March or April 1918 until May 31, 1919, they 
lived in the south of France, in both Nice and 
Cagnes. Modigliani died in Paris on January 24, 
1920. 



Laszlo Moholy-Nagy was born on July 20, 1895, in 
Bacsbarsod, Hungary. In 1913 he began law 
studies at the University of Budapest but inter- 
rupted them the following year to serve in the 
Austro-Hungarian army. While recovering from a 
wound in 1917, he founded the artist's group MA 
(today) with Ludwig Kassak and others in 
Szeged, Hungary, and started a literary magazine 
called Jelenkor (the present). After receiving his 
law degree, Moholy-Nagy moved to Vienna in 
1919, where he collaborated on the MA periodical 
Horizont. He traveled to Berlin in 1920 and began 
making "photograms" and Dada collages. 
During the early 1920s Moholy-Nagy contributed 
to several important art periodicals and coedited 
with Kassak Das Buck neuer Kiinstler, a volume of 
poetry and essays on art. In 1921 he met Lissitzky 
in Germany and traveled to Paris for the first 
time. His first one-man exhibition was organized 
by Herwarth Walden at Der Sturm in Berlin in 
1922. During this period Moholy-Nagy was a semi- 
nal figure in the development of Constructivism. 38: 
While teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1923, 
he became involved in stage and book design and 
with Walter Gropius edited and designed the Bau- 
hausbiicher series published by the school. In 1926 
he began to experiment with unconventional 
materials such as aluminum and bakelite. Moholy- 
Nagy moved with the Bauhaus to Dessau in 1925 
and taught there until 1928, when he returned to 
Berlin to concentrate on stage design and film. 
In 1930 he participated in the Internationale Werk- 
bund Ausstellung in Paris. The artist moved to Am- 
sterdam in 1934, the year of a major retrospective 
of his work at the Stedelijk Museum there. In 
1935 Moholy-Nagy fled from the growing Nazi 
threat to London; there he worked as a designer 
for various companies and on films and associated 
with Gabo, Hepworth and Moore. In 1937 he was 
appointed director of the New Bauhaus in Chica- 
go, which failed after less than a year because of 
financial problems. Moholy-Nagy established his 
own School of Design in Chicago in 1938 and in 

1940 gave his first summer classes in rural Illinois. 
He joined the American Abstract Artists group in 

1941 and in 1944 became a United States citizen. 
His book Vision in Motion was published in 1947, 
after his death on November 24, 1946, in Chicago. 



Piet Mondrian 
1872-1944 



Henry Moore 
1898-1986 



Antoine Pevsner 
1884-1962 



Piet Mondrian was born Pieter Cornelis Mondri- 
aan, Jr., on March 7, 1872, in Amersfoort, the 
Netherlands. He studied at the Rijksakademie van 
Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, from 1892 to 
1897. Until 1908, when he began to take annual 
trips to Domburg in Zeeland, Mondrian's work 
was naturalistic — incorporating successive in- 
fluences of academic landscape and still-life paint- 
ing, Dutch Impressionism and Symbolism. In 1909 
a major exhibition of his work (with that of 
C.R.H. Spoor and Jan Sluyters) was held at the 
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and that same 
year he joined the Theosophical Society. In 1909- 
10 he experimented with Pointillism and by 1911 
had begun to work in a Cubist mode. After seeing 
original Cubist works by Braque and Picasso at the 
first Modeme Kunstkring exhibition in 1911 in Am- 
sterdam, Mondrian decided to move to Paris. In 
Paris from 1912 to 1914 he began to develop an in- 
dependent abstract style. 

Mondrian was visiting the Netherlands when 
384 World War I broke out and prevented his return 
to Paris. During the war years in Holland he fur- 
ther reduced his colors and geometric shapes and 
formulated his non-objective Neo-Plastic style. In 
1917 Mondrian became one of the founders of De 
Stijl. This group, which included van Doesburg 
and Vantongerloo, extended its principles of ab- 
straction and simplification beyond painting and 
sculpture to architecture and graphic and industri- 
al design. Mondrian's essays on abstract art were 
published in the periodical De Stijl. In July 1919 he 
returned to Paris; there he exhibited with De Stijl 
in 1923 but withdrew from the group because of 
differences of opinion with van Doesburg. In 1930 
Mondrian showed with Cercle et Carre {Circle and 
Square) and in 1931 joined Abstraction-Creation. 
World War II forced Mondrian to move to Lon- 
don in 1938 and then to settle in New York in Oc- 
tober 1940. In New York he joined the American 
Abstract Artists and continued to publish texts on 
Neo-Plasticism. His late style evolved significantly 
in response to the city. In 1942 his first one-man 
show took place at the Valentine Dudensing 
Gallery, New York. Mondrian died on February 1, 
1944, in New York. In 1971 the Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Museum organized a centennial exhibi- 
tion of his work. 



Henry Spencer Moore was born on July 30, 1898, 
in Castleford, Yorkshire, the son of a miner. 
Despite an early desire to become a sculptor, 
Moore began his career as a teacher in Castleford. 
After military service in World War I he attended 
Leeds School of Art on an ex-serviceman's grant. 
In 1921 he won a Royal Exhibition Scholarship to 
study sculpture at the Royal Academy of Art in 
London. Moore became interested in the Mexican, 
Egyptian and African sculpture he saw at the Brit- 
ish Museum. He was appointed Instructor of 
Sculpture at the Royal Academy in 1924, a post he 
held for the next seven years. A Royal Academy 
traveling scholarship allowed Moore to visit Italy 
in 1925; there he saw the frescoes of Giotto and 
Masaccio and the late sculpture of Michelangelo. 
Moore's first one-man show of sculpture was held 
at the Warren Gallery, London, in 1928. 
In the 1930s Moore was a member of Unit One, a 
group of advanced artists organized by Paul Nash, 
and was a close friend of Nicholson, Hepworth 
and the critic Herbert Read. From 1932 to 1939 
he taught at the Chelsea School of Art. He was an 
important force in the English Surrealist move- 
ment, although he was not entirely committed to 
its doctrines; Moore participated in the Interna- 
tional Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington 
Galleries, London, in 1936. In 1940 Moore was 
appointed an official war artist and was commis- 
sioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to 
execute drawings of life in underground bomb 
shelters. From 1940 to 1943 the artist concentrat- 
ed almost entirely on drawing. His first retrospec- 
tive took place at Temple Newsam, Leeds, in 
1941. In 1943 he received a commission from the 
Church of St. Matthew, Northampton, to carve a 
Madonna and Child; this sculpture was the first in 
an important series of family group sculptures. 
Moore was given his first major retrospective 
abroad by The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, in 1946. He won the International Prize for 
Sculpture at the Venice Biennale of 1948. 
Moore executed several important public commis- 
sions in the 1950s, among them Reclining Figure, 
1956-58, for the UNESCO Building in Paris. In 
1963 the artist was awarded the British Order of 
Merit. A major retrospective of his work was held 
at the Forte di Belvedere, Florence, in 1972. A 
gallery of works Moore donated to the Art Gallery 
of Ontario in Toronto opened in 1974. The artist's 
eightieth birthday was celebrated in 1978 with an 
exhibition of his work at the Serpentine in London 
organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain; at 
this time he gave many of his sculptures to the 
Tate Gallery, London. Moore died on August 31, 
1986, in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire. 



Antoine Pevsner was born on January 18, 1884, in 
Orel, Russia. After leaving the Academy of Fine 
Arts in St. Petersburg in 1911, he traveled to Paris 
where he saw the work of Robert Delaunay, 
Gleizes, Metzinger and Leger. On a second visit to 
Paris in 1913 he met Modigliani and Archipenko, 
who encouraged his interest in Cubism. Pevsner 
spent the war years 1915 to 1917 in Oslo with his 
brother Gabo. On his return to Russia in 1917 
Pevsner began teaching at the Moscow Academy 
of Fine Arts with Kandinsky and Malevich. 
In 1920 he and Gabo published the Realistic 
Manifesto. Their work was included in the Erste 
russische Kunstausstellung at the Galerie van Die- 
men in Berlin in 1922, held under the auspices of 
the Soviet government. The following year Pevs- 
ner visited Berlin, where he met Duchamp and 
Katherine Dreier. He then traveled on to Paris, 
where he settled permanently; in 1930 he became 
a French citizen. His work was included in an ex- 
hibition at the Little Review Gallery in New York 
in 1926. He and Gabo designed sets for the ballet 
La Chatte, produced by Sergei Diaghilev in 1927. 
In Paris the two brothers were leaders of the Con- 
structivist members of Abstraction-Creation, an al- 
liance of artists who embraced a variety of abstract 
styles. 

During the 1930s Pevsner's work was shown in 
Amsterdam, Basel, London, New York and Chica- 
go. In 1946 he, Gleizes, Herbin and others formed 
the group Realites Nouvelles; their first exhibition 
was held at the Salon des Realites Nouvelles in 
Paris in 1947. That same year Pevsner's first one- 
man show opened at the Galerie Rene Drouin in 
Paris. The Museum of Modern Art in New York 
presented Gabo-Pevsner in 1948, and in 1952 Pevs- 
ner participated in Chefs-d'oeuvre du XX' Steele at 
the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris. The 
same museum organized a one-man exhibition of 
his work in 1957. In 1958 he was represented in 
the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Pevs- 
ner died in Paris on April 12, 1962. 



Francis Picabia 
1879-1953 



Pablo Picasso 
1881-1973 



Jackson Pollock 
1912-1956 



Francois Marie Martinez Picabia was born on or 
about January 22, 1879, in Paris, of a Spanish 
father and a French mother. He was enrolled at 
the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris from 1895 
to 1897 and later studied with Albert Charles 
Wallet, Ferdinand Humbert and Fernand Cor- 
mon. He began to paint in an Impressionist man- 
ner in the winter of 1902-03 and started to exhibit 
works in this style at the Salon d'Automne and the 
Salon des Independants of 1903. His first one-man 
show was held at the Galerie Haussmann, Paris, in 
1905. From 1908 elements of Fauvism and Neo- 
Impressionism as well as Cubism and other forms 
of abstraction appeared in his painting, and by 
1912 he had evolved a personal amalgam of 
Cubism and Fauvism. Picabia worked in an ab- 
stract mode from this period until the early 1920s. 
Picabia became a friend of Duchamp and Guil- 
laume Apollinaire and associated with the Puteaux 
group in 1911-12. He participated in the 1913 Ar- 
mory Show, visiting New York on this occasion 
and frequenting avant-garde circles. Alfred 
Stieglitz gave him a one-man exhibition at his 
gallery "291" this same year. In 1915, which 
marked the beginning of Picabia 's machinist or 
mechanomorphic period, he and Duchamp, among 
others, instigated and participated in Dada 
manifestations in New York. Picabia lived in 
Barcelona in 1916-17; in 1917 he published his 
first volume of poetry and the first issues of 391, 
his magazine modeled after Stieglitz' s periodical 
291. For the next few years Picabia remained in- 
volved with the Dadaists in Zurich and Paris, 
creating scandals at the Salon d'Automne, but fi- 
nally denounced Dada in 1921 for no longer being 
"new." He moved to Tremblay-sur-Mauldre, out- 
side Paris, the following year and returned to 
figurative art. In 1924 he attacked Andre Breton 
and the Surrealists in 391. 

Picabia moved again in 1925, this time to Mou- 
gins. During the 1930s he became a close friend of 
Gertrude Stein. By the end of World War II Pica- 
bia returned to Paris. He resumed painting in an 
abstract style and writing poetry, and in March 
1949 a retrospective of his work was held at the 
Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris. Picabia died in Paris 
on November 30, 1953. 



Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born on October 25, 
1881, in Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. The son of an 
academic painter, Jose Ruiz Blanco, he began to 
draw at an early age. In 1895 the family moved to 
Barcelona, and Picasso studied there at La Lonja, 
the academy of fine arts. His visit to Horta de 
Ebro of 1898-99 and his association with the 
group at the cafe Els Quatre Gats about 1899 were 
crucial to his early artistic development. In 1900 
Picasso's first exhibition took place in Barcelona, 
and that autumn he went to Paris for the first of 
several stays during the early years of the century. 
Picasso settled in Paris in April 1904 and soon his 
circle of friends included Max Jacob, Guillaume 
Apollinaire, Gertrude and Leo Stein as well as two 
dealers, Ambroise Vollard and Berthe Weill. 
His style developed from the Blue Period (1901 to 
1904) to the Rose Period (1905) to the pivotal 
work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, and the 
subsequent evolution of Cubism from 1909 into 
1911. Picasso's collaboration on ballet and theatri- 
cal productions began in 1916. Soon thereafter his 
work was characterized by Neo-Classicism and a 
renewed interest in drawing and figural represen- 
tation. In the 1920s the artist and his wife Olga 
(whom he had married in 1918) continued to live 
in Paris, travel frequently and spend their sum- 
mers at the beach. From 1925 into the 1930s 
Picasso was involved to a certain degree with the 
Surrealists and from the autumn of 1931 he was es- 
pecially interested in making sculpture. With the 
large exhibitions at the Galeries Georges Petit in 
Paris and the Kunsthaus Zurich in 1932 and the 
publication of the first volume of Zervos's cata- 
logue raisonne the same year, Picasso's fame in- 
creased markedly. 

By 1936 the Spanish Civil War had a profound ef- 
fect on Picasso, the expression of which culminat- 
ed in his painting Guernica, 1937 '. He was also 
deeply moved by World War II and stayed primar- 
ily in Paris during those years. Picasso's associa- 
tion with the Communist party began in 1944. 
From the late 1940s he lived in the south of France 
at Vallauris, Cannes and then Vauvenargues. 
Among the enormous number of Picasso exhibi- 
tions that were held during the artist's lifetime, 
those at The Museum of Modern Art in New York 
in 1939 and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris 
in 1955 have been most significant. In 1961 the ar- 
tist married Jacqueline Roque and they moved to 
Mougins. There Picasso continued his prolific 
work in painting, drawing, prints, ceramics and 
sculpture until his death on April 8, 1973. 



Paul Jackson Pollock was born January 28, 1912, 
in Cody, Wyoming. He grew up in Arizona and 
California and in 1928 began to study painting at 
the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. In 
the autumn of 1930 Pollock came to New York 
and studied under Benton at the Art Students 
League. Benton encouraged him throughout the 
succeeding decade. By the early 1930s Pollock 
knew and admired the murals of Jose Clemente 
Orozco and Diego Rivera. Although he traveled 
widely throughout the United States during the 
1930s, much of Pollock's time was spent in New 
York, where he settled permanently in 1935 and 
worked on the WPA Federal Art Project from 
1935 to 1942. In 1936 he worked in David Alfaro 
Siqueiros's experimental workshop in New York. 
Pollock's first one-man show was held at Peggy 
Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in New 
York in 1943. Peggy Guggenheim gave him a con- 
tract that lasted through 1947, permitting him to 
devote all his time to painting. Prior to 1947 Pol- ,o- 
lock's work reflected the influence of Picasso and 
Surrealism. During the early 1940s he contributed 
paintings to several exhibitions of Surrealist and 
Abstract art, including Natural, Insane, Surrealist 
Art at Art of This Century in 1943, and Abstract 
and Surrealist Art in America, organized by Sidney 
Janis at the Mortimer Brandt Gallery in New York 
in 1944. 

From the autumn of 1945, when Lee Krasner and 
Pollock were married, they lived in The Springs, 
East Hampton. In 1952 Pollock's first one-man 
show in Paris opened at the Studio Paul Facchetti 
and his first retrospective was organized by Cle- 
ment Greenberg at Bennington College in Ver- 
mont. He was included in many group exhibitions, 
including the annuals at the Whitney Museum of 
American Art, New York, from 1946 and the 
Venice Biennale in 1950. Although his work was 
widely known and exhibited internationally, the 
artist never traveled outside the United States. He 
was killed in an automobile accident August 11, 
1956, in The Springs. 



Liubov Popova 
1889-1924 



Pierre-Auguste Renoir 
1841-1919 



Gino Severini 
1883-1966 



386 



Liubov Sergeevna Popova was born near Moscow 
on April 24, 1889. After graduating from high 
school in Yalta, she studied in Moscow at the Ar- 
senieva Gymnasium in 1907-08 and at the same 
time attended the studios of Stanislav Zhukovsky 
and Konstantin Yuon. In the course of her travels 
in 1909-10 she saw Mikhail Vrubel's work in Kiev, 
ancient Russian churches in Pskov and Novgorod, 
and early Renaissance art in Italy. In 1912 Popova 
worked at The Tower, a Moscow studio, with Tat- 
lin and other artists. That winter she visited Paris, 
where she worked in the studios of the Cubist 
painters Le Fauconnier and Metzinger. In 1913 
Popova returned to Russia but the following year 
she journeyed again to France and to Italy, where 
she gained familiarity with Futurism. 
In her work of 1912 to 1915 Popova was con- 
cerned with Cubist form and the representation of 
movement; after 1915 her nonrepresentational 
style revealed the influence of icon painting. She 
participated in many exhibitions of advanced art 
in Russia during this period: the Jack of Diamonds 
shows of 1914 and 1916 in Moscow; Tramway V: 
First Futurist Exhibition of Paintings and 0.10 Last 
Futurist Exhibition of Pictures, both in 1915 in 
Petrograd; The Store in 1916; Fifth State Exhibi- 
tion: From Impressionism to Non-Objective Art in 
1918-19; and Tenth State Exhibition: Non-Objective 
Creation and Suprematism in 1919, all in Moscow. 
In 1916 Popova joined the Supremus group, which 
was organized by Malevich. She taught at Svomas 
(Free State Art Studios) and Vkhutemas (Higher 
State Art-Technical Institute) from 1918 onward 
and was a member of Inkhuk (Institute of Artistic 
Culture) from 1920 to 1923. 
The artist participated in the 5 x 5 = 25 exhibition 
in Moscow in 1921 and in the Erste russische Kunst- 
ausstellung, held under the auspices of the Russian 
government in Berlin in 1922. In 1921 Popova 
turned away from studio painting to execute 
utilitarian Productivist art: she designed textiles, 
dresses, books, porcelain, costumes and theater 
sets (the latter for Vsevolod Meierkhold's produc- 
tions of Fernand Crommelynk's The Magnanimous 
Cuckold, 1922, and Sergei Tretiakov's Earth in 
Turmoil, 1923). Popova died in Moscow on May 
25, 1924, at the age of thirty-five. 



Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on February 25, 
1841, in Limoges, and grew up in Paris. He 
worked as a commercial artist for several years and 
copied at the Louvre before entering the Ecole des 
Beaux-Arts in 1862 to study for one year with 
Emile Signol and Charles Gleyre. At Gleyre's pri- 
vate studio he met Monet, Frederic Bazille and 
Alfred Sisley, who joined him in plein-air painting. 
In 1864 Renoir's first submission to the official 
Salon was accepted, and he began executing por- 
trait commissions. The following year he visited 
the village of Marlotte near the forest of Fon- 
tainebleau for the first of many summers, and met 
Gustave Courbet. His work was accepted intermit- 
tently at the Salon until the early 1870s. In 1869 
Renoir met Edmond Duranty, Paul Alexis, Emile 
Zola, Cezanne and the photographer Nadar (Felix 
Tournachon), and often painted with Monet. In 
1871, after army service during the Franco- 
Prussian War, he returned to Paris. In 1872 
Renoir met the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel and visit- 
ed Gustave Caillebotte with Monet. He participat- 
ed in the Salon des Refuses in 1873 and in the first 
exhibition of the group later known as the Impres- 
sionists in 1874. He took part in the second, third 
and seventh Impressionist shows of 1876, 1877 
and 1882, but declined to show in the other four. 
Financial difficulties forced Renoir and other Im- 
pressionists to organize an auction of their work at 
the Hotel Drouot in 1875. 

During the late 1870s Renoir associated with Paul 
Guillaumin, Jules Champfleury, Cezanne and the 
paint dealer Pere Tanguy. From 1878 to 1883 he 
showed annually at the Salon. He visited Algeria 
and Italy in 1881-82. In 1883 Durand-Ruel gave 
him a one-man show, and the artist traveled to the 
islands of Jersey and Guernsey and to L'Estaque to 
see Cezanne. Renoir exhibited with the group Les 
XX in Brussels in 1885, 1886 and 1889. He began 
a lifelong association with Stephane Mallarme in 
1887. That same year he showed his Bathers at the 
Exposition Internationale in Paris. In 1890 he par- 
ticipated in the Salon for the last time, and was 
awarded the medal of the Legion d'Honneur. 
Despite failing health Renoir continued to work 
until his death at Cagnes on December 3, 1919. 



Gino Severini was born on April 7, 1883, in Cor- 
tona, Italy. He studied at the Scuola Tecnica in 
Cortona before moving to Rome in 1899. There he 
attended art classes at the Villa Medici and by 
1901 met Boccioni, who had also recently arrived 
in Rome and later would be one of the theoreti- 
cians of Futurism. Together Severini and Boccioni 
visited the studio of Balla where they were in- 
troduced to painting with "divided" rather than 
mixed color. After settling in Paris in November 
1906, Severini studied Impressionist painting and 
met the Neo-Impressionist Signac. 
Severini soon came to know most of the Parisian 
avant-garde including Modigliani, Gris, Braque 
and Picasso, Lugne-Poe and his theatrical cir- 
cle, the poets Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire 
and Paul Fort and author Jules Romains. After 
joining the Futurist movement at the invitation of 
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Boccioni, Severini 
signed the Manifesto Tecnico della Pittura Futurista 
of April 1910 along with Balla, Boccioni, Carra 
and Russolo. However, Severini was less attracted 
to the subject of the machine than his fel- 
low Futurists and frequently chose the form of 
the dancer to express Futurist theories of dyna- 
mism in art. 

Severini helped organize the first Futurist exhibi- 
tion at Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in February 1912, 
and participated in subsequent Futurist shows in 
Europe and the United States. In 1913 he had one- 
man exhibitions at the Marlborough Gallery, Lon- 
don, and Der Sturm, Berlin. During the Futurist 
period Severini acted as an important link between 
artists in France and Italy. After his last truly 
Futurist work — a series of paintings on war 
themes — Severini painted in a Synthetic Cubist 
mode and by 1920 he was applying theories of 
Classical balance based on the Golden Section to 
figurative subjects from the traditional Commedia 
dell'Arte. He divided his time between Paris and 
Rome after 1920. He explored fresco and mosaic 
techniques and executed murals in various medi- 
ums in Switzerland, France and Italy during the 
1920s. In the 1950s he returned to the subjects of 
his Futurist years: dancers, light and movement. 
Throughout his career Severini published impor- 
tant theoretical essays and books on art. Severini 
died in Paris on February 26, 1966. 



Yves Tanguy 
1900-1955 



Georges Vantongerloo 
1886-1965 



Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy was born on Janu- 
ary 5, 1900, in Paris. While attending lycee during 
the 1910s, he met Pierre Matisse, his future dealer 
and lifelong friend. In 1918 he joined the Mer- 
chant Marine and traveled to Africa, South Ameri- 
ca and England. During military service at Lu- 
neville in 1920, Tanguy became a friend of the 
poet Jacques Prevert. He returned to Paris in 1922 
after volunteer service in Tunis and began sketch- 
ing cafe scenes that were praised by de Vlaminck. 
After Tanguy saw de Chirico's work in 1923, he 
decided to become a painter. In 1924 he, Prevert 
and Marcel Duhamel moved into a house that was 
to become a gathering place for the Surrealists. 
Tanguy became interested in Surrealism in 1924 
when he saw the periodical La Revolution Sur- 
realists Andre Breton welcomed him into the Sur- 
realist group the following year. 
Despite his lack of formal training, Tanguy's art 
developed quickly and his mature style emerged by 
1927. His first one-man show was held in 1927 at 
the Galerie Surrealiste in Paris. In 1928 he partici- 
pated with Arp, Ernst, Masson, Miro, Picasso and 
others in the Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie 
Au Sacre du Printemps, Paris. Tanguy incorporat- 
ed into his work the images of geological forma- 
tions he had observed during a trip to Africa in 
1930. He exhibited extensively during the 1930s 
in one-man and Surrealist group shows in New 
York, Brussels, Paris and London. 
In 1939 Tanguy met the painter Kay Sage in Paris 
and later that year traveled with her to the Ameri- 
can Southwest. They married in 1940 and settled 
in Woodbury, Connecticut. In 1942 Tanguy par- 
ticipated in the Artists in Exile show at the Pierre 
Matisse Gallery in New York, where he exhibited 
frequently until 1950. In 1947 his work was in- 
cluded in the exhibition Le Surrealisme en 1947, or- 
ganized by Breton and Duchamp at the Galerie 
Maeght in Paris. He became a United States 
citizen in 1948. In 1953 he visited Rome, Milan 
and Paris on the occasion of his one-man shows in 
those cities. The following year he shared an exhi- 
bition with Kay Sage at the Wadsworth Atheneum 
in Hartford and appeared in Richter's film 8x8. 
A retrospective of Tanguy's work was held at The 
Museum of Modern Art in New York eight 
months after his death on January 15, 1955, in 
Woodbury. 



Georges Vantongerloo was born on November 24, 
1886, in Antwerp. He studied around 1900 at the 
Academie des Beaux-Arts of Antwerp and of Brus- 
sels. He spent the years 1914 to 1918 in The 
Netherlands, where his work attracted the atten- 
tion of the Queen. While working on architectural 
designs there, he met Mondrian, van der Leek and 
van Doesburg and collaborated with them on the 
magazine De Stijl, which was founded in 1917. 
Soon after his return to Brussels in 1918 he moved 
to Menton, France. In France he developed a close 
friendship with the artist and architect Max Bill, 
who was to organize many Vantongerloo exhibi- 
tions. In 1924 Vantongerloo published his pamph- 
let "L'Art et son avenir" in Antwerp. 
In 1928 the artist-architect-theorist moved from 
Menton to Paris; there, in 1931, he became vice- 
president of the artists' association Abstraction- 
Creation, a position he held until 1937. His models 
of bridges and a proposed airport were exhibited 
at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 1930. 
In 1936 he participated in the exhibition Cubism 
and Abstract Art at The Museum of Modern Art in 
New York. His first one-man show was held at the 
Galerie de Berri in Paris in 1943. He shared an ex- 
hibition with Bill and Pevsner in 1949 at the Kunst- 
haus Zurich. His seventy-fifth birthday was ob- 
served with a solo exhibition at the Galerie 
Suzanne Bollag in Zurich in 1961. The following 
year Bill organized a large Vantongerloo retrospec- 
tive for the Marlborough New London Gallery in 
London. Shortly after Vantongerloo's death on 
October 5, 1965, in Paris, the Museo Nacional de 
Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires held a memorial exhi- 
bition of his work. 



Chronology 



388 



1861 Solomon R. Guggenheim is born. 

1893 Harry F. Guggenheim, Solomon's nephew, is 
born. 

1895 Solomon R. Guggenheim marries Irene Roth- 
schild. 

1898 Peggy Guggenheim, Solomon's niece, is born. 

1920 Eleanor Guggenheim, Solomon's daughter, 
marries Lord Castle-Stewart. 

1921 Peggy Guggenheim leaves the United States for 
Europe, where she will meet avant-garde 
painters and poets. 

1925 Barbara Guggenheim, Solomon's daughter, 
marries John Robert Lawson-Johnston. 

1927 Peter O. Lawson-Johnston, Solomon's grand- 
son, is born. 

The young German artist Baroness Hilla Rebay 
von Ehrenwiesen arrives in the United States. 
Commissioned by Irene Guggenheim to paint 
her husband's portrait, Rebay and Solomon be- 
come friends. At Rebay's suggestion, Solomon 
begins to acquire modern paintings for his col- 
lection. 

1929 Hilla Rebay introduces Solomon Guggenheim 
to Vasily Kandinsky in his Dessau studio. Solo- ' 
mon purchases several paintings and works on 
paper, including Composition 8, 1923. This 
selection of Kandinskys forms the nucleus of 
Solomon's collection of non-objective paintings, 
which will grow continuously during the ensuing 
years. 

1930s Solomon R. Guggenheim's collection is installed 
in his private apartment at the Plaza Hotel. 
Small exhibitions of newly acquired works are 
held intermittently for the public. 

1936 Hilla Rebay organizes the first of three land- 
mark loan exhibitions entitled Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Collection of Non-Objective Paintings, 
featuring contemporary European artists such 
as Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Lyonel 
Feininger, Albert Gleizes, Kandinsky, Fernand 
Leger and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Venues are the 
Gibbes Memorial Art Gallery, Charleston, 
South Carolina (March 1 - April 12) and the 
Philadelphia Art Alliance (February 8-28, 
1937). 

1937 The rapid expansion of the collection leads to 
the formation of The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Foundation. Incorporated in the State of New 
York, the Foundation is endowed to operate a 
museum. Solomon R. Guggenheim is elected 
first President of the Foundation and Hilla Re- 
bay is appointed its Trustee and Curator. 

1938 The second loan exhibition of the collection, Art 
of Tomorrow: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collec- 
tion of Non-Objective Paintings, is shown at the 
Gibbes Memorial Art Gallery, Charleston, 
South Carolina (March 12-April 17). 

Peggy Guggenheim opens Guggenheim Jeune, a 
commercial art gallery in London representing 
such artists as Jean Cocteau, Kandinsky and 
Yves Tanguy. 

1939 The third loan exhibition of the Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Collection of Non-Objective Paint- 



ings is presented at The Baltimore Museum of 
Art (January 6-29). 

Peggy Guggenheim conceives of the idea of 
founding a museum of modern art in London 
with Herbert Read as its director. She begins to 
acquire avant-garde paintings and sculpture in 
Paris for the museum, which eventually form 
the basis of her own private collection. 
The Museum of Non-Objective Painting opens 
in rented quarters at 24 East 54th Street after 
a long search for a space in which to house and 
exhibit Solomon's collection. Rebay is named 
the first Director of the Museum. 

1941 Peggy Guggenheim returns to the United 
States. 

1942 Peggy Guggenheim and the Surrealist painter 
Max Ernst get married. Peggy opens Art of This 
Century, a commercial art gallery on 57th Street 
in New York designed by Frederick Kiesler. Im- 
portant exhibitions include works by Giorgio de 
Chirico, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and 
Jackson Pollock. 

1943 Peggy Guggenheim and Max Ernst divorce. 
Solomon Guggenheim commissions Frank 
Lloyd Wright to design a permanent structure 
to house the Museum. Various sites for the new 
Museum are considered by Wright in consulta- 
tion with New York's Park Commissioner 
Robert Moses. 

1944 Even before the site is selected, Wright's de- 
signs for a spiral-shaped building begin to 
emerge. Prefigured in his 1924 Gordon Strong 
Planetarium in Maryland, the spiral motif 
represents the architect's interpretation of an- 
cient Mesopotamian ziggurats. The choice of 
this formal prototype perhaps reflects Hilla Re- 
bay's desire to build a "temple of non-objective 
painting." Initial schematic drawings are made. 
These would be the first of some 700 sketches, 
not including the six separate sets of working 
drawings, prepared for the building over the 
next fifteen years. 

The Foundation acquires a tract of land be- 
tween East 88th and 89th streets (minus the 
corner lots) facing Fifth Avenue for the new 
building. 
Kandinsky dies. 

1945 The Museum of Non-Objective Painting or- 
ganizes a major retrospective of Kandinsky's 
oeuvre (April 15- April 29). 

The first complete set of plans for the new 
building is finished. A plexiglass model showing 
the essential structure of the Museum is creat- 
ed. The exhibition building is conceived as one 
curvilinear poured-concrete ramp spiraling up- 
ward almost one hundred feet to a glass 
skylight. Set into a low rectangular base, the 
grand cantilevered spiral, located at the south 
end of the block, is attached to a smaller circular 
service structure on the north, known as the 
Monitor Building. This building is originally 
designed as a residence for Hilla Rebay. The 
model is presented to the press in New York. 
Peggy Guggenheim closes Art of This Century 
and returns permanently to Europe. 

1947 The model of the new Museum is destroyed dur- 
ing transport to Wright's studio, Taliesin East 



in Wisconsin. The architect builds a second 
model altered to include an extension called 
"The Annex" on the 88th Street side. Troubled 
that funds needed for construction were allocat- 
ed for refurbishing the existing townhouse at 
1071 Fifth Avenue, the Museum's future site, 
for exhibition purposes, Wright intends the An- 
nex to be built first and serve as temporary 
gallery space and curatorial housing until the en- 
tire complex is completed. 
The Museum of Non-Objective Painting moves 
from 54th Street to the renovated townhouse at 
1071 Fifth Avenue. 

Since Wright does not have a New York ar- 
chitectural license at this time, he asks Arthur 
Holden of Holden, McLaughlin Associates to 
assist with obtaining a building permit from the 
New York Building Department. 

1948 The Foundation purchases the corner lot at Fifth 
Avenue and 89th Street, causing Wright to re- 
orient the Museum's spiral to the north end of the 
complex so that the larger mass would occupy the 
newly acquired area. Revised plans also indicate 
the elimination of one revolution of the spiral. 
The Museum purchases the entire estate of Karl 
Nierendorf , a New York art dealer who special- 
ized in German painting. This acquisition en- 
riches the collection by significant numbers of 
Kandinskys, Klees and Feiningers. 

Peggy Guggenheim's collection of Cubist, Sur- 
realist and European and American abstract 
painting and sculpture is exhibited at the Venice 
Biennale. 

1949 Solomon R. Guggenheim dies. 

Peggy Guggenheim purchases the Palazzo 
Venier dei Leoni in Venice, installs her collec- 
tion there and opens it to the public. She estab- 
lishes the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation to 
operate and endow the museum. 

1950 Lord Castle-Stewart is appointed second Presi- 
dent of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Founda- 
tion. 

1951 When Castle-Stewart resigns, Harry F. Guggen- 
heim is elected third President of the Founda- 
tion. He and his wife Alicia Patterson Guggen- 
heim become staunch supporters of Solomon's 
vision for the Wright-designed building. 

The Foundation acquires the corner lot on 88th 
Street and Fifth Avenue, a move much advocat- 
ed by Wright, as it will allow increased interior 
space and the addition of landscaping. The large 
spiral is once again shifted from a northern to a 
southern orientation. Revised plans include a 
twelve-story Annex designed to accommodate a 
building housing artists' studios and apartments 
that would act visually as a backdrop to the 
primary structure. 

1952 Hilla Rebay resigns as Director of the Museum 
and becomes Director Emeritus. She is replaced 
by James Johnson Sweeney, former Director of 
the Department of Painting and Sculpture at 
The Museum of Modern Art. Sweeney insti- 
tutes an aggressive acquisition program in an at- 
tempt to fill serious gaps in the collection such 
as the complete absence of sculpture. 
Building plans are submitted through Arthur 
Holden to New York's Building Commissioner. 
Areas specified within the new structure would 



accommodate: a curatorial division; depart- 
ments for preparation and maintenance; a spe- 
cial department to encourage experimentation 
in film, light and sound; a small cafe on the 
rotunda floor with a street entrance; and an un- 
derground theater/lecture room surrounded by 
lounges for audience and performers. 
The name of the Museum of Non-Objective 
Painting is changed to the Solomon R. Guggen- 
heim Museum to distinguish it as a memorial to 
its founder and to signify a shift in acquisition 
and exhibition policies from those determined 
by an exclusive aesthetic preference to those 
reflecting a broader view of modern and con- 
temporary art. 

Carl Zigrosser is appointed a Trustee of the 
Foundation. He is the first museum professional 
to serve on the board. 
Lord Castle-Stewart dies. 

1953 Wright redesigns the entire complex, streamlin- 
ing the structure just as the plans are to be 
reviewed for the building permit. Revisions in- 
clude the elimination of a terrace garden and 
walkway at the base of the dome, a simplifica- 
tion of the Monitor Building, the addition of a 
photography department and a general widen- 
ing of the ramps. 

The traveling retrospective of Frank Lloyd 
Wright's achievements, Sixty Years of Living Ar- 
chitecture: The Work of Frank Lloyd Wright, 
is held on the site of the new Museum in a spe- 
cially erected pavilion in front of the town- 
house (October 22-December 13). The model 
for the Guggenheim is presented as part of this 
exhibition. 

The Museum receives a bequest from the Estate 
of Katherine S. Dreier, which includes, among 
other works, masterpieces by Alexander Ar- 
chipenko, Constantin Brancusi, Raymond 
Duchamp-Villon, Juan Gris, Piet Mondrian and 
Kurt Schwitters. 

James Johnson Sweeney organizes an exhibition 
of emerging talents, Younger European Painters: 
A Selection (December 3, 1953-May 2, 1954; 
traveled in the United States until 1956), con- 
tinuing a tradition of showing young artists es- 
tablished by Hilla Rebay, who mounted numer- 
ous presentations of the work of young Ameri- 
can non-objective painters. This exhibition is 
followed the next year by Sweeney's Younger 
American Painters: A Selection (May 12- 
September 26, 1954; traveled in the United 
States until 1956). 

1954 Wright moves to New York to oversee plans for 
construction; Arthur Holden's services are ter- 
minated. Designs for the building are altered 
further to comply with New York City's Build- 
ing Code. One highly visible concession, made 
to meet Fire Department regulations, involves 
replacing the continuous glass dome decorated 
with bronze circles with the current twelve- 
sided web-patterned dome. 

1956 The ground is broken for excavation and the 
Museum is relocated to temporary quarters in a 
townhouse at 7 East 72nd Street. William Short 
of Holden, McLaughlin Associates is appointed 
official clerk of the works for the project. 
The first Guggenheim International Award exhi- 



bition is held at the Museum as a forum for con- 
temporary trends in the arts. 

1958 With the excavation complete, construction of 
the building begins at 1071 Fifth Avenue. James 
Johnson Sweeney demands several interior 
changes to accommodate the needs of the grow- 
ing institution, including increased office and 
library space, an artificial lighting system as op- 
posed to Wright's design for natural illumina- 
tion, and the elimination of sloping walls. These 
requirements initiate a long and bitter dialogue 
between the Director and the architect. 

1959 Frank Lloyd Wright dies. 

The Museum opens to an enthusiastic public on 
October 21. The first exhibition in the Wright 
building, Inaugural Selection, includes, among 
other works from the collection, Pierre Bon- 
nard's Dining Room on the Garden, 1934-35, 
Stuart Davis's Cliche, 1955, Jean Dubuffet's 
Door with Couch Grass, 1957, Gris's Houses in 
Paris, 1911, Willem de Kooning's Composition, 
1955, Kazimir Malevich's Morning in the Village 
After Snowstorm, 1911, Joan Miro's Landscape 
(The Hare), 1927 , Antoine Pevsner's Twinned 
Column, 1947, Pollock's Ocean Greyness, 1953, 
and Henri Rousseau's Artillerymen, ca. 1895. 
To accompany this eclectic selection, there 
are two ramps entirely devoted to the work of 
Kandinsky. 

1960 The Foundation accepts James Johnson 
Sweeney's resignation. Daniel Catton Rich is 
appointed a Trustee of the Foundation. The art 
historian H. Harvard Arnason is elected the 
Foundation's Vice-President for Art Adminis- 
tration as well as a Trustee. 

1961 Thomas M. Messer is selected to be the third 
Director of the Guggenheim Museum. 

1963 The Museum receives a portion of Justin K. 
Thannhauser's renowned personal collection of 
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art as a per- 
manent loan. Plans are considered for renova- 
tions on the second floor of the Monitor Building 
to provide gallery space in which to exhibit this 
loan. To house the administrative and storage fa- 
cilities displaced by creating this extra exhibition 
space, the Museum decides to construct an An- 
nex behind the existing Frank Lloyd Wright 
structure. The addition is designed by William 
Wesley Peters, Wright's son-in-law and resident 
at Wright's Foundation, Taliesin. 

1964 Peter O. Lawson-Johnston becomes a Trustee of 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. 

1965 The Justin K. Thannhauser Wing is officially in- 
augurated at the Museum. Its original interior 
decoration includes red brocade-covered walls. 
An archway opening between the main rotunda 
and the Thannhauser Wing is created. 

1966 Peter O. Lawson-Johnston is appointed Vice- 
President for Business Administration of the 
Foundation. 

Construction of the Annex begins. 

1967 Hilla Rebay dies. 

1968 The Annex is completed. Although designed as 
a six-story structure, only four floors are con- 
structed due to financial limitations. But be- 



cause the administration recognizes that future 
expansion is inevitable, the foundation of the 
Annex is built with the capacity to support a 
ten-story building. 

1969 Carl Zigrosser dies. H. H. Arnason retires. Har- 
ry F. Guggenheim relinquishes his position as 
President of the Foundation to become Chair- 
man of the Board. In his place, Peter O. 
Lawson-Johnston is appointed fourth President 
of the Foundation. 

Peggy Guggenheim's private collection is ex- 
hibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum. 

The first of the Theodoron Awards exhibitions, 
focusing exclusively on the work of developing 
artists, is held (May 24-June 29). Subsequent 
shows take place in 1971 and 1977. Funds are 
provided by the Theodoron Foundation for the 
acquisition of one work by every artist featured 
in each presentation. Artists represented in the 
exhibitions include Mary Miss, Bruce Nauman, 
Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Michael Singer 
and Gilberto Zorio. 

1970 Peggy Guggenheim transfers ownership of her 
collection to The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Foundation with the understanding that the 
works of art will remain in Venice. Even though 
Peggy Guggenheim has been approached by 
several institutions seeking custody of the col- 
lection, she selects her uncle's Museum, know- 
ing that her wish to retain the Palazzo as a 
museum will be respected and that the works of 
art will be carefully conserved. 

1971 Harry F. Guggenheim dies. 

Works of art remaining in the Estate of Hilla 
Rebay are divided between The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Foundation and The Hilla von Re- 
bay Foundation, thus enriching the Museum 
collection by numerous examples of non- 
objective art. 

1972 On the occasion of Justin K. Thannhauser's 
eightieth birthday, the wing containing his be- 
quest to the Museum is renovated and rein- 
stalled. The central light well is exposed accord- 
ing to Frank Lloyd Wright's original designs, 
the brocade wall-covering is removed in favor of 
ivory-painted walls, the lighting system is im- 
proved and partitions are added. 

1974 The Wright building undergoes further struc- 
tural alterations with the addition of a restaur- 
ant and bookstore on the ground floor. To ac- 
commodate these additions, the driveway be- 
tween the rotunda and the Monitor Building is 
enclosed and the sculpture garden along 89th 
Street is transformed into an outdoor cafe. 

1976 Daniel Catton Rich dies. 
Justin K. Thannhauser dies. 

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, as installed 
in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, is made an 
Italian National Monument. The Peggy Gug- 
genheim Foundation is terminated and the Col- 
lection and the Palazzo are legally transferred to 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. 

1977 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation ob- 
serves its fortieth anniversary with Nina Kan- 
dinsky, widow of Vasily Kandinsky, as guest of 
honor at the celebration. 



1978 The Aye Simon Reading Room, designed by 
Richard Meier, is created in a meeting-room 
space oil the second ramp in the rotunda. At 
tins time the keyhole-shaped entrance to the 
reading room is created 

An historian Seymour Slive is made a Trustee 
ol the Foundation. 

Museum initiates the Kxxon series ol exhi- 
bitions devoted to the work of emerging artists 
(May 5-June 1 1). Funds are provided by Exxon 
Corporation lor the purchase of one work by 
each artist represented in each show for the 
Museum's collection of contemporary art. The 
series will last until 1987 with eight annual 
presentations (with the exception of 1979) alter- 
nating between the United States and other 
countries. Artists represented in the exhibitions 
include Siah Armajani, Scott Burton, Enzo Cuc- 
chi, Barbara Kruger and Ange Leccia. 

1979 Peggy Guggenheim dies. 

Thomas M. Messer is appointed Director ol the 
Peggy Guggenheim Collection in addition to his 
directorial position in New York. 

1980 In an attempt to relieve the constraints imposed 
on the exhibition of the permanent collection by 
the spatial limitations of the Wright building, a 
small gallery — called Pioneers of Twentieth- 
Century Art — is established in an area on the 
fourth floor of the Monitor Building formerly 
occupied by the Director's office. 

Having been closed the year of Peggy's death, 
the Peggy Guggenheim Collection reopens in 
Venice after extensive conservation of the 
390 works and their reinstallation. 

In recognition of Messer's dual directorship, he 
is named the first Director of The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Foundation and also appointed a 
Trustee of the Foundation. 

1982 In response to the Museum's physical limita- 
tions, which make it increasingly difficult to 
adequately house the growing professional staff, 
to display a substantial portion of the collection 
at any one time and to exhibit large-scale con- 
temporary art, the Foundation decides to pro- 
ceed with an expansion program. Gwathmey 
Siegel & Associates Architects is contracted to 
furnish a design that will provide new galleries 
and reduce insufficiencies in operating space 
without disrupting the Frank Lloyd Wright 
structure. 

An exhibition of selected works from the Peggy 
Guggenheim Collection and the Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Museum is held at the Cam- 
pidoglio in Rome. 

1985 Public announcement of The Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Foundation's intention to construct a 
glass-walled cantilevered tower on the founda- 
tions of the existing Annex appears in The New 
York Times. 

1987 Gwathemy Siegel modifies its first plan propos- 
ing a lower tower with a reduced mass and sub- 
dued finish. This new design is based on a simi- 
lar background building proposed by Wright in 
1951. New York City's Board of Standards and 
Appeals approves the Museum's revised applica- 
tion for the proposed addition. 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 
celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with a suite of 



special exhibitions: Fifty Years of Collecting: An 
Anniversary Selection comprising Painting by 
Modern Masters, Sculpture of the Modem Era and 
Painting Since World War II (November 13, 
1987-March 13, 1988). 

1988 Thomas M. Messer retires and is named Direc- 
tor Emeritus. Thomas Krens, formerly Director 
of the Williams College Museum of Art, suc- 
ceeds him as Director of The Solomon R. Gug- 
genheim Foundation and the two museums it 
administers. 

Krens supervises the expansion program and in- 
itiates planning for a comprehensive restoration 
of the Wright building. 

1989 The existing four-story Annex is demolished, 
save for the foundation and the second and 
fourth floors, to prepare for construction of the 
new addition, which begins late in the year. Let- 
ters spelling out The Thannhauser Collection 
are placed on the Fifth Avenue facade of the 
Monitor Building. 

New York City's Landmarks Commission 
schedules a hearing to consider landmark status 
for the Wright building. The Foundation en- 
dorses this effort. 

1990 On May 1 the Museum is closed to the public 
so that major restoration of the existing struc- 
ture can begin. 



Index of Artists and Works 



Jean Arp 

Constellation with Five White Forms 

and Two Black, Variation III (1932), 267 
Head and Shell (ca. 1933), 269 
Growth (1938), 271 

Giacomo Balla 

Abstract Speed + Sound (1913-14), 123 

Max Beckmann 

Paris Society (1931), 273 

Constantin Brancusi 
Maiastra (1912?), 125 
The Muse (1912), 127 
Bird in Space (1932-40), 275 
Flying Turtle (1940-45), 3 15 

Georges Braque 

Piano and Mandola (1909-10), 129 

Violin and Palette (1909-10), 131 

Victor Brauner 

Spread of Thought (1956), 353 

Alexander Calder 

Standing Mobile (Late 1930s or early 1940s), 277 

Mobile (1941), 317 

Standing Mobile ( 1942), 3 19 

Constellation (1943), 321 

Mobile (ca. 1943-46), 323 

Red Lily Pads (1956), 355 

Paul Cezanne 

5HS Lz/e: Fte*, G/<OT <2«i>g (ca. 1877), 59 
Still Life: Plate of Peaches (1879-80), 61 
Madame Cezanne (1885-87), 63 
Bibemus (ca. 1894-95), 65 

Marc Chagall 

The Soldier Drinks (1911-12), 133 
Paris Through the Window (1913), 135 
The Flying Carriage (1913), 137 
Green Violinist (1923-24), 239 

Salvador Dali 
Untitled (1931), 279 
Paranoiac-critical Study of Vermeer's 
"Lacemaker" (1955), 357 

Giorgio de Chirico 

The Red Tower (1913), 139 

The Nostalgia of the Poet (1914), 141 

Edgar Degas 

Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised 

(1882-95), 67 
Spanish Dance (1896-1911), 69 
Seated Woman Wiping Her Left Side 

(1896-1911), 71 

Robert Delaunay 

Saint-Severin No. 3 (1909-10), 143 

Eiffel Tower (1911), 145 

The City (1911), 147 

Red Eiffel Tower (1911-12), 149 

Windows Open Simultaneously (1st Part, 

3rdMolif) (1912), 151 
Circular Forms (1930), 281 

Paul Delvaux 

The Break of Day (1937), 283 

Theo van Doesburg 
Counter-Composition XIII (1925-26), 241 

Jean Dubuffet 

Miss Cholera (1946), 325 

Fleshy Face with Chestnut Hair (1951), 359 

Door with Couch Grass (1957), 361 



Marcel Duchamp 

Nude (Study), Sad Young Man on a Train 
(1911-12), 153 

Raymond Duchamp-Villon 
Maggy (1912), 155 

Max Ernst 

The Kiss (1927), 243 

Zoomorphic Couple (1933), 285 

TheAntipope (1942), 327 

An Anxious Friend (1944), 329 

Paul Gauguin 

In the Vanilla Grove, Man and Horse (1891), 73 

Haere Mai (1891), 75 

Alberto Giacometti 
Spoon Woman (1926), 245 
Woman with Her Throat Cut 

(1932, cast 1940), 287 
Woman Walking (1932), 289 
Nose (1947), 331 

Standing Woman ("Leoni") (1947, cast 1957), 333 
Diego (1953), 363 

Albert Gleizes 

Portrait (Head in a Landscape) (1912-13), 157 

Portrait of an Army Doctor (1914-15), 159 

Vincent van Gogh 

Roadway with Underpass (1887), 77 

Landscape with Snow (1888), 79 

Head of a Girl (1888), 81 

The Zouave (1888), 83 

Boats at Saintes-Maries (1888), 85 

The Road to Tarascon (1888), 87 

Mountains at Saint-Remy (1889), 89 

Natalia Goncharova 
Cats (191}), 161 

Juan Gris 

Houses in Paris (1911), 163 

Newspaper and Fruit Dish (1916), 165 

Vastly Kandinsky 

Blue Mountain (1908-09), 167 

Group in Crinolines (1909), 169 

Sketch for "Composition II" (1909-10), 171 

Improvisation 28, (Second Version) (1912), 173 

Landscape with Rain (1913), 175 

Landscape with Red Spots, No. 2 (1913), 177 

Painting with White Border (1913), 179 

Small Pleasures (1913), 181 

In the Black Square (1923), 247 

Deep Brown (1924), 249 

Several Circles (1926), 251 

Violet-Orange (1935), 291 

Dominant Curve (1936), 293 

Capricious Forms (1937), 295 

Various Actions (1941), 335 

Twilight (1943), 337 

Red Accent (1943), 339 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 

Gerda, Half-Length Portrait (1914), 183 

Artillerymen (1915), 185 

Paul Klee 

Flowerbed (1913), 187 

J« the Current Six Thresholds (1929), 253 

New Harmony (1936), 297 

Oskar Kokoschka 
K«;g/>/Ernmm915), 189 

Frantisek Kupka 

Planes of Colors, Urge Nude (1909-10), 191 

Fernand Leger 

The Smokers (1911-12), 193 



Nude Model in theStudio (1912-13), 195 
Men in the City (1919), 197 
Woman Holding a Vase (1927), 255 
Builders with Rope (1950), 365 

El Lissitzky 

Untitled (ca. 1919-20), 199 

Rene Magritte 

Voice of Space (1931), 299 

Aristide Maillol 

WWa« wr/A Crab (1902? -05), 91 

Kazimir Malevich 

Morning in the Village After Snowstorm 

(1912), 201 

Untitled (ca. 1916), 203 

Edouard Manet 

B<?/cw rte Mirror (1876), 93 

Woman in Evening Dress (1877-80), 95 

Franz Marc 

White Bull (1911), 205 

y^/ow Cow (1911), 207 

Tie Unfortunate Land of Tyrol (1913), 209 

Louis Marcoussis 

The Regular (1920), 257 

Henri Matisse 

The Italian Woman (1916), 211 

Joan Miro 

TAe ra/ei F/>« (1923-24), 259 
Dutch Interior II (1928), 261 
The Flight of the Bird over the Plain III 
(1939), 301 

Amedeo Modigliani 
Nude (1917), 213 

Jeanne Hebuterne with Yellow Sweater 
(1918-19), 215 

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 

Dual Form with Chromium Rods (1946), 341 

Piet Mondrian 

Still Life with Ginger Pot II (1911-12), 217 
Composition VII (1913), 219 
Composition No. 8 (1914), 221 
Composition 1916 (1916), 223 
Composition 1A (1930), 303 
Composition (1938-39), 305 

Henry Moore 

Three Standing Figures (1953), 367 

Antoine Pevsner 

Twinned Column (1947), 343 

Francis Picabia 

Very Rare Picture on the Earth (1915), 225 

Pablo Picasso 

The End of the Road (1898-99), 97 

Le Moulin de la Galette (1900), 99 

The Fourteenth of July (1901), 101 

El Loco (1903-04), 103 

Woman Ironing (1904), 105 

Young Acrobat and Child ( 1905), 107 

Vase of Flowers (1905-06), 109 

Still Life: Flowers in a Vase (1906), 1 1 1 

Woman with Open Fan (1906), 113 

Woman and Devil (1906), 115 

Carafe, Jug and Fruit Bowl (1909), 227 

Accordionist (1911), 229 

Landscape at Ceret (1911), 23 1 

The Poet (1911), 233 

Mandolin and Guitar (1924), 263 



The Studio (1928), 265 
Woman with Yellow Hair (1931), 57 
Pitcher and Bowl of Fruit ( 1 93 1 ), 307 
On the Beach (1937), 309 

Jackson Pollock 
The Moon Woman (1942), 345 
Two (1943-45), 347 
Circumcision (1946), 349 
Enchanted Forest (1947), 351 

Liubov Popova 
landscape (1914-15), 235 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir 
Woman with Parrot (1871), 117 
Still Life: Flowers (1885), 119 

Gino Severini 

Red Cross Train Passing a Village (1915), 237 

Yves Tanguy 

Promontory Palace (1931), 311 

Georges Vantongerloo 

Composition Derived from the Equation 

y=-ax 2 +bx+18 with Green, Orange, Violet 

(Black) (1930), 313 



391 



Translators 



Photographic Credits 



William Weaver | for text by U. Eco) 
Andrew Ellis (for text by M. Calvesi) 



All color photographs are by David Heald with the 

exception of: 

Mvles Aronowitz: cat. nos. 1, 8, 20, 21, 25, 27, 35, 

39,63,65,66,85,87,95,96. 
Carmelo Guadagno: cat. nos. 15, 22, 29, 82, 102, 

107,116, 118, 119. 
Carmelo Guadagno and David Heald: cat. nos. 

100, 110. 



392 



Black and white photographs: 

Archivio Cameraphoto di Pavan e Codato, Vene- 

zia: p. 40. 
Berenice Abbott: p. 36. 
David Douglas Duncan: p. 53 (top). 
Gisele Freund: p. 38 (top). 
Pedro Guerrero: p. 24. 
David Heald: p. 18, 27, 29, 30 (bottom), 31, 38 

(bottom), 51 (center). 
Edith Jekel: p. 30 (top and center). 
Leonar: p. 39. 
Robert E. Mates: p. 25. 
Gabriele Munter: p. 52. 
O.E. Nelson: p. 51 (bottom), 53 (bottom). 
Courtesy Newsday: p. 51 (top). 
Man Rav: p. 34. 
William H. Short: p. 22,23. 
Courtesy The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: 

p. 19 (top and bottom), 20 (top and bottom), 21, 

51 (top), 54 
Courtesv Eugene V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York: 

p. 28. 



Fotocomposizione Grande - Monza 

Printed in Italv 

September 1990 

by Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri S.p.A. - Milano